Religion-Related Bias Victimization: Addressing a Blind Spot

This project seeks to better understand religion-related hate crimes. Existing data assessing criminal victimization and bias-motivated crimes do not adequately measure the religion of victims or the role of religion in bias-motivated crimes. This project includes a nationally representative survey of over 2,000 adults (with over-samples of religious minority groups) to assess individuals’ experiences with victimization and whether they perceived that religious bias was a motivator for their being victimized. The project findings will be shared with law enforcement, communities, and policy-makers in an effort to prevent religion-related crimes and serve the victims of such crimes. In addition to the survey (which will be publically archived for others to use after the end of the grant), this project will produce articles and presentations.

As a supplement to this project, RPLP researchers obtained additional funding support from the Rice University Faculty Initiatives Fund (FIF) to conduct 20 follow-up interviews with survey respondents. The FIF funding will also support programming dedicated to the topic of religion-related bias and hate, allowing the RPLP to amplify project data to religious and civic leaders in Houston.

Elaine Howard Ecklund serves as the project's PI and Christopher P. Scheitle as co-PI. This project is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation and with funding from the Rice University Faculty Initiatives Fund.