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Religion Around the World Study of the 2008 International Social Survey Programme (ISSP)

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • ISSP Research Group; Saflianto, Muhammad; Omondi, Paul; Thavaraja, Joseph; Wanyama, Evangeline
Publication Date
  • Saflianto, Muhammad (TNS Indonesia, Jakarta) (Researcher)
  • Omondi, Paul (The Steadman Group, Nairobi) (Researcher)
  • Thavaraja, Joseph (Social Indicator-Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo) (Researcher)
  • Wanyama, Evangeline (The Steadman Group, Dar es Salaam) (Researcher)
  • Indonesia: TNS Indonesia, Jakarta Kenya: The Steadman Group, Nairobi Sri Lanka: Social Indicator-Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo Tanzania: The Steadman Group, Dar es Salaam (Data Collector)
  • ZA:
    • Religion and "Weltanschauung"
  • CESSDA Topic Classification:
    • Religion and values
  • Abstract

    Attitudes towards religious practices. Topics: assessment of personal happiness; attitudes towards pre-marital sexual intercourse; attitudes towards committed adultery; attitudes towards homosexual relationships between adults; attitudes towards abortion in case of serious disability or illness of the baby or low income of the family; attitudes towards gender roles in marriage; trust in institutions (parliament, business and industry, churches and religious organizations, courts and the legal system, schools and the educational system); mobility; attitudes towards the influence of religious leaders on voters and government; attitudes towards the benefits of science and religion (scale: modern science does more harm than good, too much trust in science and not enough in religious faith, religions bring more conflicts than peace, intolerance of people with very strong religious beliefs); judgment on the power of churches and religious organizations; attitudes towards equal rights for all religious groups in the country and respect for all religions; acceptance of persons from a different religion or with different religious views in case of marrying a relative or being a candidate of the preferred political party (social distance); attitudes towards the allowance for religious extremists to hold public meetings and to publish books expressing their views (freedom of expression); doubt or firm belief in God (deism, scale); belief in: a life after death, heaven, hell, religious miracles, reincarnation, Nirvana, supernatural powers of deceased ancestors; attitudes towards a higher truth and towards meaning of life (scale: God is concerned with every human being personally, little that people can do to change the course of their lives (fatalism), life is meaningful only because God exists, life does not serve any purpose, life is only meaningful if someone provides the meaning himself, connection with God without churches or religious services); religious preference (affiliation) of mother, father and spouse/partner; additional country specific for Kenya: religious preference (affiliation) of mother, father and spouse/partner; religion respondent was raised in; additional country specific for Kenya: religion respondent was raised in; frequency of church attendance (of attendance in religious services) of father and mother; personal frequency of church attendance when young; frequency of prayers and participation in religious activities; shrine, altar or a religious object in respondent’s home; frequency of visiting a holy place (shrine, temple, church or mosque) for religious reasons except regular religious services; self-classification of personal religiousness and spirituality; truth in one or in all religions; attitudes towards the profits of practicing a religion (scale: finding inner peace and happiness, making friends, gaining comfort in times of trouble and sorrow, meeting the right kind of people). Optional items: conversion of faith after crucial experience; personal sacrifice as an expression of faith such as fasting or following a special diet during holy season such as Lent or Ramadan. Demography: sex; age; marital status; steady life partner; years of schooling; highest education level; country specific education and degree; current employment status (respondent and partner); hours worked weekly; occupation (ISCO 1988) (respondent and partner); supervising function at work; working for private or public sector or self-employed (respondent and partner); if self-employed: number of employees; trade union membership; earnings of respondent (country specific); family income (country specific); size of household; household composition; party affiliation (left-right); country specific party affiliation; participation in last election; religious denomination; religious main groups; attendance of religious services; self-placement on a top-bottom scale; region (country specific); size of community (country specific); type of community: urban-rural area; country of origin or ethnic group affiliation; additional country specific for Kenya and Tanzania: ethnic group affiliation. Additionally coded: administrative mode of data-collection; case substitution; weighting factor.
Temporal Coverage
  • 2008-03-10 / 2008-04-04
  • 2008-09-10 / 2008-10-01
  • 2008-09-24 / 2008-10-15
    Sri Lanka
  • 2008-08-28 / 2008-09-08
Geographic Coverage
  • Indonesia (ID)
  • Kenya (KE)
  • Sri Lanka (LK)
  • Tanzania, United Republic of (TZ)
Sampled Universe
Respondents 18 years old and older
Probability; Sampling Procedure Comment: Kenya, Tanzania: Systematic PPS Sampling with implicit stratification with Wards as the sampled units Indonesia: Stratified Random Sample Sri Lanka: Simple Random Sample
Time Dimension
  • Cross-section
Collection Mode
  • Interview
  • Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania: Face-to-face interview with standardized questionnaire Kenya: Face-to-face, paper and pencil interviews with standardized questionnaire
Data and File Information
  • Unit Type: Individual
    Number of Units: 6697
    Number of Variables: 149
The project ‘Religion Around the World Study of the 2008 International Social Survey Programme‘ was funded by the Templeton Foundation and covers four non-ISSP member countries. Data harmonization and integration were achieved by the GESIS Data Archive. The reference study for the project named above (ZA5690) is the ISSP 2008 study on Religion III (ZA4950).
A - Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching.
All metadata from GESIS DBK are available free of restriction under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. However, GESIS requests that you actively acknowledge and give attribution to all metadata sources, such as the data providers and any data aggregators, including GESIS. For further information see
Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA5690 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Internationale Umfrageprogramme (Type: FDZ)
  • Is new version of
    DOI: 10.4232/1.11736

Update Metadata: 2020-10-21 | Issue Number: 28 | Registration Date: 2013-09-17

ISSP Research Group; Saflianto, Muhammad; Omondi, Paul; Thavaraja, Joseph; Wanyama, Evangeline (2013): Religion Around the World Study of the 2008 International Social Survey Programme (ISSP). Version: 1.0.1. GESIS Data Archive. Dataset.