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Religious Conversion to Christianity in Muslim Refugees in Europe

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An increasing number of Muslim asylum seekers and refugees convert to Christianity in Europe. The conversion motifs in these individuals are unknown. In this study, we applied biographical interviews in 124 converts. There were two dominant patterns: intellectual (42.7%)—intellectual plus experimental motifs (10.5%), and mystical (16.1%)—mystical plus affectional motifs (21.0%). Pure experimental and affectional motifs were rare, and there were no revivalist and coercive motifs. Demographic parameters (age, gender, education, family status, country of origin, traumatic life events, and refugee status) did not predict conversion motifs. We found no evidence for social pressure. These results indicate that finding meaning and consolation in Christian religious teachings and mystical experiences with a high emotional content are the two leading religious conversion motifs.

Affiliations: 1: Corresponding author, National Institute of Psychiatry and Addictions Lehel str. 59, 1135, BudapestHungary szabolcs.keri@kzc-opai.huTel.: +36-1-451-26-00, Fax: +36-1-451-26-01 ; 2: Katharina Zell Center at the National Institute of Psychiatry and Addictions BudapestHungary


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