Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: National Case Studies


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Islamic Law Concerning Gender and the Body, Food, and Fashion

Indeed, they have a vested interest because religious freedom is good for business.

Religions of the Asia Pacific.

Research shows that religious freedom not only benefits the bottom line, but also improves the lives of women, consolidates democracy, and increases peace and stability. According to a study by researchers at Georgetown University and Brigham Young University, Religious freedom is one of only three factors significantly associated with global economic growth. The study looked at GDP growth for countries in and controlled for two-dozen different financial, social, and regulatory influences.

As the world navigates away from years of poor economic performance, religious freedom may be an unrecognized asset to economic recovery and growth, according to this new study. This is particularly important for business because where stability exists, there is more opportunity to invest and conduct normal and predictable business operations, especially in emerging and new markets.

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Diversity and Unity | Asia Society

The new study observes that religious hostilities and restrictions create climates that can drive away local and foreign investment, undermine sustainable development, and disrupt huge sectors of economies. Such has occurred in the ongoing cycle of religious regulation and hostilities in Egypt, which has adversely affected the tourism industry, among other sectors. Perhaps most significant for future economic growth, the study notes that young entrepreneurs are pushed to take their talents elsewhere due to the instability associated with high and rising religious restrictions and hostilities.

Religious freedom when respected within a company can also directly benefit the bottom line.

Religious Freedom Is An Economic Asset in the Asia-Pacific Region

This includes both improved morale and lower costs. The case resulted not only in substantial legal costs but also in negative national publicity. The study suggests that businesses may gain a competitive advantage by meeting the expectations of stakeholders who are increasingly demanding that companies play a positive role in addressing issues of social concern and fairness.

And the findings are especially relevant because the research shows that the largest markets for potential growth are in countries where religious freedom is highly restricted — casting a question mark over the long-term sustainability of growth in countries such as China. One indicator of a degree of religious freedom is when a population is religiously diverse. While the two are not always related, religious diversity is a clear sign that people in society are themselves open to freedom of religion and belief.

There is also an interesting connection between religious diversity and economic success. By contrast, each of the 12 countries with very high religious diversity had higher average growth, and most by substantial margins.


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In seven of the twelve very diverse countries, average GDP growth was double or more that of the world average of 1. In the remaining four very diverse countries, average GDP growth was also measurably higher than the world average: South Korea 2.

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During the Cultural Revolution of the s and s, religion was completely outlawed and people were routinely beaten and killed for having superstitious or religious beliefs. While it is true that today China has very high government restrictions on religion relative to other countries in the world, current conditions are far less restrictive than they were in the s and s. Duplicate citations. The following articles are merged in Scholar.

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Their combined citations are counted only for the first article. Merged citations.


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    Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: National Case Studies Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: National Case Studies
    Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: National Case Studies Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: National Case Studies
    Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: National Case Studies Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: National Case Studies
    Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: National Case Studies Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: National Case Studies
    Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: National Case Studies Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: National Case Studies
    Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: National Case Studies Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: National Case Studies
    Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: National Case Studies Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: National Case Studies
    Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: National Case Studies Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: National Case Studies
    Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: National Case Studies Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: National Case Studies

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