Category Archives: Reports

Research Report Launch: AHRC Re/presenting Narratives of Islam on Campus

The report from the AHRC funded ‘Re/presenting Narratives of Islam on Campus’ research has been released.

This was a collaboration between Professor Alison Scott-Baumann (Principal Investigator) and Dr Aisha Phoenix (SOAS University of London), Professor Mathew Guest (Durham), Dr Shuruq Naguib (Lancaster) and Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor at Coventry University.

This AHRC-funded research project provides the first nationwide picture of how Islam is experienced, perceived and interacted with on university campuses in the UK. It shows how the UK Government’s counterterrorism Prevent strategy has reinforced negative stereotypes of Muslims and has encouraged ‘a culture of mutual suspicion and surveillance’ on university campuses.

Based on findings from a national survey of 2,022 students across 132 UK universities and interviews and focus groups conducted with 253 staff and students at six higher education institutions, it recommends that universities take an active role in building peaceful relations on campus and beyond.

This can be achieved through active challenge of prejudice and empowering Muslim and all marginal voices. As discussed in our forthcoming book, suspicion and negative stereotypes need to be replaced with shared, equal and just understandings of who we all are.

To read the full report visit:

APPG on Religion in the Media – Call for evidence: Inquiry into religious literacy in print and broadcast media

Submit your response by Friday 24 April, 23:59.

Scope of Inquiry:

The APPG recognises that religion continues to play a crucial role in public life. Traditional religious adherence is declining in the UK and new forms of spirituality are becoming increasingly prominent. The APPG believes that it is essential that the media provides a balanced portrayal of faith groups and an accurate reflection of the diversity of religious belief and practice in the UK. While journalists must be free to report accurately on matters relating to faith without fear or censure, the APPG emphasises that where nuanced representations of faith groups can promote mutual understanding and social harmony, reductive, distorted or misleading depictions can provoke or aggravate social tensions.

Religious literacy can play a key role in ensuring religion and belief receives balanced coverage in all forms of media. However, while it is widely agreed that religious literacy involves both a level of competence and knowledge when discussing specific religious matters and a wider sensitivity to the nuances of faith and the complicated ways in which belief systems relate to society more generally, the term itself is contested. The APPG is undertaking this inquiry to examine how different groups, such as faith communities and media professionals, understand religious literacy and what steps can be taken to cultivate a media environment which is religiously literate.

This is particularly important because the media landscape is rapidly changing and there are many factors which influence religious literacy. This inquiry will focus specifically on print and broadcast media and aim to explore good practice and learn about potential areas for improvement and change. The inquiry aims to improve policymakers understanding of:

  • How different groups understand the phrase ‘religious literacy’, with particular reference to the media
  • What role higher education plays in fostering religious literacy which continues to improve through a journalist’s career (eg through CPD programmes)
  • How public policy decisions and initiatives by media organisations have affected religious literacy
  • What steps (either by central government, universities, the BBC, media organisations – publishers and broadcasters, regulators such as OFCOM and IPSO, or other agencies) could improve religious literacy in print and broadcast media.       

Terms of reference

The APPG invites responses to answer any or all of the following questions:

  1. What do you understand by the term ‘religious literacy’?
  2. What effect does a lack of religious literacy have on broadcast and/or print media?
  3. When, where and how is religious literacy learnt?
  4. What effect does religious illiteracy have on decisions journalists make when assigning, researching, and reporting news stories?
  5. What methods can be used by journalists to engage with faith groups sensitively? Please illustrate your answers where possible.
  6. What steps should be taken to better equip journalists when engaging with issues relating to faith?
  7.  Over the last decade, has religious literacy in the media improved, remained the same or deteriorated? If it has changed for the better or worse, please explain how?
  8. What steps can a) universities, b) journalists, c) publishers, d) broadcasters and e) regulators take to improve religious literacy in media?
  9. What public policy changes could improve religious literacy in the media?     

When submitting a response, please ensure:

  • You specify which of the questions above you are addressing;
  • You make clear whether you are referring to print media and/or broadcasting. If your answers relate to a particular organisation or publisher (e.g. OFCOM), please specify;
  • Your submission is no more than 3,000 words in length;
  • You state clearly who the submission is from, i.e. whether you are writing in a personal capacity or on behalf of an organisation;
  • You include a brief description of yourself/ organisation you are writing on behalf of;
  • You state clearly if you wish for your submission to be confidential. If this is not indicated, the APPG reserves the right to make explicit reference to your submission in its report and online;
  • You email your submission in Word or Pdf format to;
  • You submit your response by Friday 24 April, 23:59.

Useful links to Pew Research Center reports and data

Conrad Hackett, Senior Demographer & Associate Director, Pew Research Center

Pew Research Center has a wealth of data about religion around the world. It can be hard to keep track of all our products, even for those of us who work at the Center. Here is an incomplete list of links to reports, quizzes and data resources that may be of interest for research and teaching purposes:

Survey reports on religion in: Western Europe Central and Eastern Europe Sub-Saharan Africa Latin America Israel Muslim majority countries (religion report) Muslim majority countries (politics report) Orthodox Christians

Religious demography reports on: The Future of World Religions The Changing Global Religious Landscape The Gender Gap in Religious Commitment The Age & Geography Gap in Religious Commitment Religion and Educational Attainment The Growth of the Muslim Population in Europe Global migrant stocks by religion Religious diversity

Religious restrictions Latest annual report

US religion reports Religious Landscape Study Religious Typology Jews Muslims Mormons Catholics Knowledge Feelings toward religious groups

Quizzes Religious knowledge Typology

Useful data Download our datasets Current and projected religious composition of each country Religion and education data Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures site

Call for Comments: IPSP report on "Rethinking Society for the 21st Century"

The International Panel on Social Progress invites comments on its first draft until the end of Dec. 2016

Browse the report on

The first draft of the report of the International Panel of Social Progress (IPSP), “Rethinking Society for the 21st Century”, is out now! We welcome comments on the online platform

This report is a product of a global initiative. It is the first comprehensive synthesis of state-of-the-art social sciences knowledge about key issues facing humankind today, and the first collaborative and participatory initiative of its kind. 

Key features include:

  • Written by more than 250 leading academics from all around the world 
  • Takes a holistic approach to social progress: not only the economy, but health, education, gender relations, political participation
  • Focuses on the consequences of globalization and inequality, with a normative focus on the pursuit of justice broadly understood
  • Identifies scholarly consensus as well as disagreements
  • Each chapter concludes with advice to change-makers

The first international collaborative document of its kind, the report highlights the direct relevance of scholarly knowledge to social and political change, and is eventually to be published by Cambridge University Press.

In the meantime, it is open to wide public discussion. We invite comments from all concerned citizens – including, but not exclusively, NGOs, think tanks, and social entrepreneurs. Comments entered on the online platform before the end of 2016 will feed the final version of the report. Please comment, circulate and advertise widely!

Calling All Scholars of Religion: A (Free) Invitation to Comment on a Paper Summarizing the Role of Religion in the Contemporary World

Dear RC22 Colleagues (and others who are on this mailing list)

We need your help commenting on a paper, which we — Grace Davie (University of Exeter, UK) and Nancy Ammerman (Boston University, US), and a team of twelve have prepared for the International Panel on Social Progress.

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce the International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP). You can find more about the IPSP and its ways of working here:  You will see that it exists to:

  • “harness the competence of hundreds of experts about social issues” and to
  • “deliver a report addressed to all social actors, movements, organizations, politicians and decision-makers, in order to provide them with the best expertise on questions that bear on social change”.

We and our team have written the chapter on religion, entitled ‘Religions and social progress: Critical assessments and creative partnerships’.  

Here is our Abstract:

  • This chapter starts from the premise that some 80 percent of the world’s population affirms some kind of religious identification, a proportion that is growing rather than declining. Emphasizing the significance of belief and practice in everyday lives and local contexts, we analyze the impact of religion and its relevance to social progress in a wide variety of fields. These include the family, gender and sexuality; differences and diversity; democratic governance; violence and peace-making; health and economic well-being; and care for the earth.
  • We argue that researchers and policy makers pursuing social progress will benefit from careful attention to the power of religious ideas to motivate, of religious practices to shape ways of life, of religious communities to mobilize and extend the reach of social change, and of religious leaders and symbols to legitimate calls to action. All of that, however, can be put to either good or ill, for which reason assessment of particular religions in specific contexts is essential.

Running through the chapter are five interconnected themes:

  1. the persistence of religion in the twenty-first century;
  2. the importance of context in discerning outcomes;
  3. the need for cultural competence relative to religion;
  4. the significance of religion in initiating change;
  5. and the benefits of well-judged partnerships.

The continuing need for critical but appreciative assessment and the demonstrable benefits of creative partnerships are our standout findings.

The IPSP process – see – mirrors that of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and includes a period of public comment in the autumn of 2016.  The ‘Commenting Platform’ is now open – see

It would be hugely helpful if members of RC22 could take part in this.

The IPSP website will indicate how you access our chapter and how you make your comments.  Or if you prefer you can simply send us (; an e-mail.

More Catholics, fewer receiving sacraments: A new report maps a changing church

Religions News Service
More Catholics, fewer receiving sacraments: A new report maps a changing church
Cathy Lynn Grossman | Jun 1, 2015

A new report issued Monday (June 1) mapping the Catholic Church of more than 1.2 billion souls – on track to reach 1.64 billion by 2050 – holds some surprises.  And not all bode well for the church’s future as it faces major demographic and social shifts.

“Global Catholicism Trends & Forecasts,” created by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University, looks at seven regions of the world, wrapping the United States, Mexico and Canada in with Central and South America as simply the Americas. The focus is on “the three most important indicators of ‘vitality’ for the Catholic Church… the number of Catholics, the number of parishes, and the number of priests.”

– See more at:

Call for Applications: European Islamophobia Report

Call for Applications: European Islamophobia Report

EIR will be authored by leading experts in the field of Islamophobia Studies and/or NGO-activists committed to the documentation of racism in respective nation states.

The aim of the yearly ‘European Islamophobia Report’ (EIR) is to document and analyze trends in the spread of Islamophobia in various European nation states. Every year at the beginning of February before the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21 March), reports will be published online and hardcopy and disseminated among leading stakeholders, politicians, NGO’s, and anti-racist organizations.

EIR will be authored by leading experts in the field of Islamophobia Studies and/or NGO-activists committed to the documentation of racism in respective nation states. One person will author one report of his/her country of expertise. These reports will be also published online to be easily accessible. The full report will also be translated into Turkish.  The executive office will disseminate the reports among key policy makers, journalists and NGO activists from the local, national and European level. A recommended structure for a national report is to contain the following chapters:

  1. Executive Summary in native language and in English
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Introduction
  4. Significant incidents and developments in the country during the period under review
  5. Discussion of Islamophobic incidents and discursive events in various fields: a. Employment; have there been any discrimination in the job market  based on (assumed) Muslimness of a person? b. Education; has Islamophobic content become part of any curricula, text books, or any other education material? c. Politics; has Islamophobia played any role in politics (election campaigns, political programs, personal utterings, etc.) on a regional or national level? d. Media; which media events have focused on Islam/Muslims in an Islamophobic way? e. Justice System; have there been any laws and regulations argued with Islamophobic arguments or any laws restricting the rights of Muslims in their religious lifestyle? f. Cyber-Space; which webpages and initiatives have spread Islamophobic stereotypes? g. Central Figures in the Islamophobia Network; which institutions and persons have fostered Islamophobic campaigns, stirred up debates, lobbied for laws, etc.
  6. Observed civil society and political assessment and initiatives undertaken to counter Islamophobia in the idem fields
  7. Conclusion: Policy Recommendations for politics and NGO’s
  8. Chronology
  9. CV

It is recommended to collect information via (critically) analyzing media reports, contacting offices and NGO’s who combat discrimination, doing expert interviews with leading scholars and policy makers in the field.

Language: English.

Dissemination: Reports will be accessible online via an extra web-page for the project. In addition, all reports will be translated into Turkish and published online and in print.


Long report (6.000 words): Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Russia, Bosnia Herzogovina, Norway, Sweden, Finland.

Short report (3.000 words): Croatia, Serbia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo

Professional fee:
– 1.000 € for a long report
– 500 € for a short report

Deadlines: Call for Applications until: 10 May 2015.

Application should entail:

  • – CV
  • – Expertise in the field of racism studies, including Islamophobia Studies (list of publications)
  • – List of NGO’s in the country, with whom one would cooperate to get information on Islamophobic incidents on the ground

Send email to:

10 January 2016: Deadline for single reports
10 February 2016: Review of single reports
15 March 2016: Publication

Ethnographic project on Muslim-Christian relations in SW Nigeria

Dear Colleagues,

We have carried out a large-scale ethnographic survey on Muslim-Christian relations in Southwest Nigeria. For those who are interested, a first blog post (on views on inter-religious marriage is published at:

Best wishes, Insa

Dr Insa Nolte,
Department of African Studies and Anthropology
University of Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK

“Knowing Each Other: Everyday religious encounters, social identities and tolerance in SW Nigeria”