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Articles in Religion

Religion and Development in India

By Martin W. Lewis | July 30, 2010 | 14 Comments

Discussions of economic and social development in India often raise the question of religious diversity. As the Wikipedia table reproduced above shows, India’s Muslim minority has a substantially lower literacy rate than its Hindu majority, as well as a higher birthrate. On average, Indian Muslims tend to be poorer than members of other

Region, Religion, and Redshirts in Thailand

By Martin W. Lewis | April 29, 2010 |

Maps of Thailand’s 2007 legislative election clearly show that the pro-Thaksin redshirt movement currently threatening the government has regional as well as economic foundations. In Electoral District 3, which covers much of the northeastern Isan region, the Thaksin-affiliated PPP party received over 66 percent of the vote, while the anti-Thaksim Democrat party received less than

Pashtun Shiites

By Martin W. Lewis | February 6, 2010 |

Today’s New York Times includes three important articles pertaining to Sunni/Shiite tensions. Two of these are all-too-typical reports of terrorist attacks on Shia pilgrims by Sunni extremists, one in Karachi, Pakistan, the other in Iraq. The third article, on new leadership emerging among the Pakistani Taliban, is much less conventional (“With Taliban Leader Reported Dead

The Heterodox Zone

By Martin W. Lewis | January 26, 2010 | One Comment

Yesterday’s post included a map of religious communities in northern Iraq, based on a larger map by Mehrdad Izady, generated as part of Columbia University’s Gulf 2000 project. As Izady’s maps show, northern Iraq is part of a larger region of striking religious diversity, highlighted on the map above. This area has no established

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