Religion and Anti-Immigration Sentiments in Context: Field Studies in Jerusalem

Pazit Ben-Nun Bloom*, Allon Vishkin, Paz Ben-Nun, Miriam Korenman, Maya Tamir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Political and social changes in the past decade have rendered questions about religion and immigration more salient than ever. However, we know very little about the potential impact of religion as it operates in the real world on attitudes toward immigrants. In this investigation, we tested whether and how contextual religious cues in the public sphere might affect tolerance toward immigrants. In two studies, we compared the effects of a religious and a secular context (Study 1: religious location; Study 2: religious attire) on attitudes toward Jewish immigrants (i.e., a religious ingroup) and non-Jewish immigrants (i.e., a religious outgroup). Across studies, contextual religious cues predicted ingroup favoritism, as expressed by less social rejection toward religious ingroups and less support for anti-immigration policies affecting religious ingroups. However, contextual religious cues were unrelated to anti-immigration attitudes toward religious outgroups. In Study 2, these patterns were moderated by participants’ religiosity, such that they were found among more (but not fewer) religious participants. These findings extend prior laboratory findings and shed light on how religion influences attitudes toward immigration in rich and complex real environments.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)77-93
Number of pages17
JournalThe International Journal for the Psychology of Religion
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2019

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© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


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