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Religious Conversion

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Chapter Summary

In sociological literature, conversion refers to a change in belief and personal identity. This chapter examines the religious conversion process in Singapore over the last 50 years. Based on Census data as well as surveys conducted over that period, the chapter examines the reasons for religious conversion: Who are the converts? What are the religions that attract more converts? How and why are they changing their religious affiliations? An understanding of the pattern of their conversion will not only help to explain the changing profile in the past, but also to project the future trend of religious changes in multi-religious Singapore. Finally, the chapter shows that in the context of Singapore, conversion to another religion does not necessitate a total shift in religious orientation and identity, the negation of an old self and its transplantation by a new self.

Keywords: religious affiliations; religious conversion; Singapore; sociological literature



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