Religious belief, religious minorities, and support for democracy

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Over the last two decades, the intersection of religion in politics and democratic backsliding has prompted questions about public support for democracy. This study investigates the link between individual-level religious beliefs, religious minority status, and support for democracy. It presents a modified authoritarian personality theory, proposing that higher religious commitment correlates with stronger support for authoritarianism and weaker support for liberal democracy. This hypothesis is tested using Latent Class Analysis (LCA) and validated through the World Values Survey data. A survey experiment in Indonesia in 2022 examines the impact of minority status on views regarding liberal democracy. The findings indicate that religious commitment is associated with reduced support for liberal democracy, and minority status can affect perspectives on democracy under specific political contexts. Additionally, this research pioneers a large-scale approach to measuring religious experience through clustering analysis. It underscores the need to explore how democracy is perceived differently by diverse segments of the population, adding depth to the study of democratic support.