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The Varieties of Religious RepressionWhy Governments Restrict Religion$
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Ani Sarkissian

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199348084

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199348084.001.0001

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The Need to Choose

The Need to Choose

Selective State Repression of Religious Groups

(p.128) 5 The Need to Choose
The Varieties of Religious Repression

Ani Sarkissian

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines 20 countries that selectively repress some religious groups. Countries in this category vary widely in terms of which groups they target with repressive policies, including politically active groups, groups that are critical of the government, and even small, marginal religious minority groups. Ethnic divisions overlap or compete with religious divisions in many of the countries discussed in this chapter, leading politicians to attempt to court particular constituencies to assemble winning coalitions and/or preserve societal peace. Case studies of Kyrgyzstan, Bahrain, Nigeria, and Singapore illustrate the complicated interaction of religious divisions in society with levels of political competition to explain why certain religious groups are targeted with repression while others enjoy relative religious freedom.

Keywords:   Kyrgyzstan, ahrain, Nigeria, Singapore, ethnicity, religious freedom

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