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Religious Contexts and Violence in Emerging and Traditional Immigrant Destinations

NCJ Number
Religions Volume: 9 Issue: 4 Dated: 2018
Casey T. Harris; Ben Feldmeyer; Raymond Barrance
Date Published
4 pages
Amidst both a resurgent interest in the impact of religion on social problems like crime, including its contextual effects, as well as scholarship directed toward the immigration-crime intersection, the current study examined how different religious traditions impact known violent offending uniquely in traditional versus emerging immigrant destinations.

The study used negative binomial models regressing homicides, robberies, and aggravated assaults on adherence to three major religious traditions (mainline Protestant, evangelical Protestant, and Catholic), as well as immigration and other key macro-structural controls. The analysis was disaggragated for three types of U. S. counties in 2010: emerging, traditional, and other immigrant destinations. The study found that religious traditions varied in their relationship with known violence across destination types: Catholic adherence was protective against crime (net of controls) only in established immigrant destinations, but evangelical Protestant adherence was associated with higher levels of robbery and aggravated assault in the same locales. Religious adherence had no links to violence in emerging immigrant destinations. Broadly, the findings indicate that the religious context is an important part of the evolving story of immigration, though it is multifaceted and context-dependent. (publisher abstract modified)