Religion and State-Minorities (rasm) Dataset Codebook Introduction


Religious Discrimination against Minority Religions



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Religious Discrimination against Minority Religions

This set of variables is designed to examine restrictions the government places on the practice of religion by minority religious groups. 24 variables constitute essentially a list of specific types of religious restrictions which a government may place on a religious minority. Each of these specific types of restrictions are coded on the following scale:

0. Not significantly restricted.

1. The activity is slightly restricted.

2. The activity is prohibited or sharply restricted.



In the dataset each of the below variables is named as indicated followed by the year for the coding. For example, the coding for the first variable in 1990 is mz01x1990. Each of the following variables is coded based on the scale above:

  • Restrictions on public observance of religious services, festivals and/or holidays, including the Sabbath. (mz01x)

  • Restrictions on the private observance of religious services, festivals and/or holidays, including the Sabbath. (mz02x)

  • Restrictions on building, leasing, repairing and/or maintaining places of worship. (mz03x)

  • Restrictions on access to places of worship. (mz04x)

  • Forced observance of religious laws of another group. (mz05x)

  • Restrictions on formal religious organizations. (mz06x)

  • Restrictions on the running of religious schools and/or religious education in general. (mz07x)

  • Restrictions on the ability to make and/or obtain materials necessary for religious rites, customs, and/or ceremonies. (mz08x)

  • Mandatory education in the majority religion (Coded as 1 if some but not all students can opt out or take courses in their own religion, coded as 2 if opting out is restricted in a significant number of cases). (mz09x)

  • Arrest, continued detention, or severe official harassment of religious figures, officials, and/or members of religious parties for activities other then proselytizing. (mz10x)

  • State surveillance of minority religious activities not placed on the activities of the majority. (mz11x)

  • Restrictions on the ability to write, publish, or disseminate religious publications. (mz12x)

  • Restrictions on the ability to import religious publications. (mz13x)

  • Restrictions on the observance of religious laws concerning personal status, including marriage, divorce, and burial. (mz14x)

  • Restrictions on the wearing of religious symbols or clothing. This includes presence or absence of facial hair. (mz15x)

  • Restrictions on the ordination of and/or access to clergy. (mz16x)

  • Restrictions on conversion to the minority religion. (mz17x)

  • Forced conversions. (mz18x)

  • Restrictions on proselytizing by permanent residents of state. (mz19x)

  • Requirement for the minority religion to register in order to be legal or receive special tax status in a manner not required of all religions. (mz20x)

  • Custody of children granted to members of majority group solely or in part on the basis of religious affiliation or beliefs. (mz21x)

  • Restricted access of minority clergy to hospitals, jails, military bases, and other places a chaplain may be needed in comparison to chaplains of the majority religion. (mz22x)

  • There is a legal provision or policy of declaring the minority a dangerous or extremist sect. (Coded 1 if the law exists but has no practical consequences. Coded 2 if the law has practical or legal consequences.) (mz23x)

  • Restrictions on other types of observance of religious law. (mz24x)

A composite version which adds all of the above 24 variables is also included. (mzx)



The dataset also includes the following variables:




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