Religion is considered as a notable origin of interpersonal relations, as well as an effective and efficient tool to organize a huge number of people towards some challenging targets. At the same time, a believer prefers to make friend with other people of the same faith, and thus people of different faiths tend to form relatively isolated communities. The segregation between different religions is a major factor for many social conflicts. However, quantitative understanding of religious segregation is rare. Here we analyze a directed social network extracted from weibo.com (the largest directed social network in China, similar to twitter.com), which is consisted of 6875 believers in Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and Taoism. This religion network is highly segregative. Comparative analysis shows that the extent of segregation for different religions is much higher than that for different races and slightly higher than that for different political parties. Furthermore, we study the few cross-religion links and find 46.7% of them are probably related to charitable issues. Our findings provide quantitative insights into religious segregation and valuable evidence for religious syncretism.
Segregation in religion networks
Jiantao Hu, Qian-Ming Zhang and Tao Zhou
EPJ Data Science 2019 8:6