Immigrant Faith

Immigrant Faith: Patterns of Immigrant Religion in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe

Phillip Connor
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 192
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  • Book Info
    Immigrant Faith
    Book Description:

    Immigrant Faithexamines trends and patterns relating to religion in the lives of immigrants. The volume moves beyond specific studies of particular faiths in particular immigrant destinations to present the religious lives of immigrants in the United States, Canada, and Europe on a broad scale.Religion is not merely one aspect among many in immigrant lives. Immigrant faith affects daily interactions, shapes the future of immigrants in their destination society, and influences society beyond the immigrants themselves. In other words, to understand immigrants, one must understand their faith.Drawing on census data and other surveys, including data sources from several countries and statistical data from thousands of immigrant interviews, the volume provides a concise overview of immigrant religion. It sheds light on whether religion shapes the choice of destination for migrants, if immigrants are more or less religious after migrating, if religious immigrants have an easier adjustment, or if religious migrants tend to fare better or worse economically than non-religious migrants.Immigrant Faithcovers demographic trends from initial migration to settlement to the transmission of faith to the second generation. It offers the perfect introduction to big picture patterns of immigrant religion for scholars and students, as well as religious leaders and policy makers.

    eISBN: 978-1-4798-5827-9
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction: Introducing Immigrant Faith
    (pp. 1-14)

    Gurbaj Singh Multani, a twelve-year-old student at Ste-Catherine Labouré school in Montreal, Quebec, went to school on November 18, 2001, like any other seventh grader in his neighborhood. But while out on the school yard that day, his ceremonialkirpan(a required religious dagger for male Sikhs) fell out of its cloth sheath tucked under his clothing. Thinking nothing of it, Gurbaj picked it up and put it back into its holder. But, later in the day, news of Gurbaj’s dagger, viewed by others as a weapon, reached the principal’s office. Gurbaj was asked to remove the kirpan or face...

  5. 1 Moving Faith
    (pp. 15-42)

    Right after high school, Pedro and Lucinda were married outside Mexico City on a hot August day in 2000. The wedding was simple, but it remained a memorable celebration for the couple’s family and friends. After the church ceremony, Pedro’s and Lucinda’s families joined together for a family portrait to commemorate this special day. But two people were noticeably missing from the photograph—Lucinda’s father and brother.¹

    Lucinda’s father had died several years earlier of a heart attack. Since the family’s provider was no longer living, Lucinda’s brother, Juan, had moved to the United States, where he could make much...

  6. 2 Changing Faith
    (pp. 43-67)

    Guo Kai Li, her husband, Zhang Yi, and their daughter, Emily, moved to Montreal, Canada, in the summer of 2001. Like so many other mainland Chinese emigrating to Canada at the time, they were excited to start new lives in a new place. After several years of waiting for their immigration visas, the delay was finally over. They had arrived in a world-class city where they could make a fresh start in their careers, raise their young daughter, and one day become citizens of Canada.

    As soon as they got off the plane, they joined the immigration queue. Despite the...

  7. 3 Integrating Faith
    (pp. 68-92)

    Everyone in Mohammed’s family knew he was a go-getter. He was the first child in his family to do everything, even though he had older siblings. He was the first to tie his shoes. The first to go to the mosque by himself. The first to complete high school. The first to leave Morocco.

    Yes, once Mohammed completed his dual-language (French and Arabic) high school education, he decided to make the journey north to France. Knowing he wanted to pursue more education so he could fulfill his lifelong dream of building airplanes, he decided that southern France would provide the...

  8. 4 Transferring Faith
    (pp. 93-114)

    Chris and Linda are a young, married couple living in the Washington, D.C., area. Having both grown up in Asian American homes, they have a common background of being raised by immigrant parents from Taiwan. With their newborn son, George, Chris and Linda have in many ways achieved the American dream envisioned by their parents. They live in a suburban home, hold well-paying, professional jobs, and are active members of their community.

    Also to the approval of their parents, Chris and Linda attend an Asian American church. The church offers Chris and Linda a group of friends that made their...

  9. Conclusion: Weaving Immigrant Faith Together
    (pp. 115-128)

    The stories of immigrant faith are as many as the millions of migrants who have moved from one country to another. For Guo Kai Li in Montreal or Mohammed and Fatima in Toulouse or Chris and Linda in Washington, D.C., religion was important for at least parts of their story. For others, like Pedro and Lucinda in New Jersey or Zhang Yi in Montreal, faith was more of a side issue. Whatever the story, it cannot be denied that religion, or the absence of religion, was consequential to the way these immigrants lived their new lives in their new countries....

    (pp. 129-144)
  11. NOTES
    (pp. 145-154)
    (pp. 155-162)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 163-164)
    (pp. 165-165)