Conversions, Religious

Religious conversion refers to the changing of religions or from one branch of a religion to another. The concept of religious conversion conceivably transcends time and place and, thus, could occur anywhere or at anytime. Some social scientists have noted that one’s religious affiliation may impose social obligations that are costly to maintain. Some people may convert from one religion to another to escape such obligations. The sociologists Alejandro Portes and Patricia Landolt (2000) wrote,

In the Ecuadorean highlands, many successful cloth and leather artisans have converted to Protestantism. The reason has little to do with their religious convictions or affinity to the Protestant “ethic,” but with the need to escape the host of obligations enforced by the Catholic cofradías. For these hard-working artisans, negative ...

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