The Religion and State Project
Hosted by theARDA
Welcome to The Religion and State Project

Announcement: RAS Round 2

The Religion and State project is pleased to announce that an updated RAS Dataset is now available!


Project Goals

The Religion and State (RAS) project is a university-based project located at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. Its goal is to create a set of measures that systematically gauge the intersection between government and religion. Specifically, it examines government religion policy. The project's goals are threefold:

  1. To provide an accurate description of government religion policies worldwide.
  2. To create a tool which will lead to greater understanding of the factors which influence government religion policy.
  3. To provide the means to examine how government religion policy influences other political, social, and economic factors as well as how those factors influence government religion policy.
The Data

Round 2 of the RAS dataset, which is currently the official version available for download, measures the extent of government involvement in religion (GIR) or the lack thereof for 1775 states on a yearly basis between 1990 and 2008. This constitutes all countries with populations of 250,000 or more as well as a sampling of smaller states. The includes the following information:

  • Official Religion: A 15 value variable which measures the official relationship between religion and the state. This includes five categories of official religions and nine categories of state-religion relationships which range from unofficial support for a single religion to overt hostility to all religion.
  • Religious Support: This includes 51 separate variables which measure different ways a government can support religion including financial support, policies which enforce religious laws, and other forms of entanglement between government and religion.
  • Religious Restrictions: This includes 29 separate variables which measure different ways governments regulate, restrict, or control all religions in the state including the majority religion. This includes restrictions on religionís political role, restrictions on religious institutions, restrictions on religious practices, and other forms of regulation, control, and restrictions.
  • Religious Discrimination: This includes 30 types of restrictions that are placed on the religious institutions and practices of religious minorities that are not placed on the majority group. This includes restrictions on religious practices, restrictions on religious institutions and clergy, restrictions on conversion and proselytizing, and other restrictions.
  • The dataset also includes several sets of detailed variables measuring certain policies in depth. These topics include religious education, the registration of religious organizations, restrictions on abortion, restrictions on proselytizing, and religious requirements for holding public office or citizenship.

Keep Updated
The RAS project sends periodic e-mail notices of publications and updates of the dataset. To be added to the mailing list please contact Jonathan Fox

The following tools and resources are provided by theARDA.
National Profiles
TheARDA's National Profiles includes data on religious adherents, religious freedoms, demographics, and other social measures for most nations of the world and by region.

International Quicklists
Use QuickLists to see rank-ordered data on religion in the U.S. and around the world.