American Sociological Association

Interreligious Contact, Perceived Group Threat, and Perceived Discrimination: Predicting Negative Attitudes among Religious Minorities and Majorities in Indonesia

This study examines the relationship between interreligious contact and negative attitudes toward the religious outgroup among minority Christians and majority Muslims in Indonesia. It answers two research questions: Does interreligious contact reduce negative outgroup attitudes equally for minority Christians and majority Muslims? Are mediation by perceived group threat and moderation by perceived discrimination equally important for religious minorities and majorities? The analysis is based on unique survey data collected from among Christian and Muslim students in Ambon (the Moluccas) and Yogyakarta (central Java). Results show that a higher quantity of interreligious contact reduces negative outgroup attitudes among majority Muslims but not among minority Christians. However, the quality of contact reduces negative attitudes regardless of relative group size. Perceived group threat is an important mediator of the contact-attitude relationship and is equally so for Christians and Muslims. Findings suggest that perceived discrimination does not affect the relationship between interreligious contact and negative attitudes.


Kanas, A., Scheepers, P., Sterkens, C.





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