Journal Article

After Atheism: An Analysis of Religious Monopolies in the Post-Communist World

Paul Froese

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 65, issue 1, pages 57-75
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI:
After Atheism: An Analysis of Religious Monopolies in the Post-Communist World

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Dramatic religious growth has occurred throughout the former Soviet Union in the past 30 years with approximately 100 million people joining religious groups for the first time. These religious revivals correspond to lessening restrictions on religious activity — a clear prediction of the “religious-economies” or “supply-side” approach to the study of religion. Nevertheless, a comparative analysis of post-communist countries reveals that levels of religious pluralism are not commensurate to levels of religious growth, a finding which seemingly contradicts a central proposition in the supply-side approach. This paper argues that a religious-economies explanation of post-communist religious growth remains untarnished when one considers the impact of Soviet atheism on religious markets and the role of religious regulation in the post-communist era. These two factors have created an instance where religious monopolies are able to grow at unprecedented rates.

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Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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