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Religious Freedom and Economic, Social, and Political Development

Recent empirical research suggests a positive correlation between levels of religious freedom across countries and measures of economic, social, and political development. It appears that citizens' capacity to act on the basis of core beliefs has positive effects on civic and political life, including economic development and the onset and consolidation of democracy. Drawing on this research, the project explored the conditions under which religious freedom serves other ends. What dimensions of religious freedom—belief, practice, and political engagement—have positive effects? When and how do they do so? From 2011 to 2014, the Religious Freedom Project addressed these questions through research presented through events and publications.
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