In the context of globalization—the global movement of religious systems, organizations, and people—assimilation refers to a mode of religious settlement in which the “arriving” group becomes over time indistinguishable from the “receiving” or “host” community or society. “They” become sufficiently like “us” so that “we” no longer sense that “they” are alien, different, strange, or otherwise “other.” They change enough for us to accept them as “one of us.” It is also assumed that the assimilation process will leave the “host” society intact and unchanged. “We” have no need to change and in fact do not. Assimilation has been and still is the declared immigration policy of some nations and is proclaimed as the desirable settlement outcome by some in many nations. This entry ...

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