Exploring religiosity and attitudes towards Christians and non-believers among recent Muslim refugees to Finland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In 2015, Europe experienced one of the largest refugee crises in its recent history. Finland, a relatively new immigrant destination country, received over 30 000 asylum seekers. This study is among the first to investigate the religiosity patterns, religious identity motives and attitudes towards Finnish Christians and non-believers among these recently arrived asylum seekers in Finland. The novelty of the study is two-fold. Theory-wise, the study is built on the religious orientation framework, which has been relatively underutilised in European social psychological research on religious identities, particularly among Muslims. Method-wise, the study combines a variable- and person-centred approach to study religiosity-outgroup attitude patterns among Muslim asylum seekers. Using the variable-centred approach, we found that asylum seekers’ extrinsic religiosity was associated with more positive attitudes towards Finnish Christians and non-believers. Intrinsic religiosity nor the identity motives were associated with out-group attitudes. Using the person-centred approach, three groups emerged. The attitudes towards Finnish Christians were more positive than towards non-believers in the two groups with high levels of both intrinsic and extrinsic religiosity and religious identity motives. In turn, in the group with relatively higher levels of extrinsic rather than intrinsic religiosity, the attitudes towards Finnish Christians and non-believers did not differ and were similarly positive.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Pages (from-to)206-216
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 5144 Social psychology
  • 614 Theology

Cite this