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Segregation in Religion Networks.

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Jiantao Hu, Qian-Ming Zhang, Tao Zhou

Religious beliefs could facilitate human cooperation [1-6], promote civicengagement [7-10], improve life satisfaction [11-13] and even boom economicdevelopment [14-16]. On the other side, some aspects of religion may lead toregional violence, intergroup conflict and moral prejudice against atheists[17-23]. Analogous to the separation of races [24], the religious segregationis a major ingredient resulting in increasing alienation, misunderstanding,cultural conflict and even violence among believers of different faiths[18,19,25]. Thus far, quantitative understanding of religious segregation israre. Here we analyze a directed social network extracted from (thelargest directed social network in China, similar to, which isconsisted of 6875 believers in Christianism, Buddhism, Islam and Taoism. Thisreligion network is highly segregative, with only 1.6% of links connectingindividuals in different religions. Comparative analysis shows that the extentof segregation for different religions is much higher than that for differentraces and slightly higher than that for different political parties. The fewcross-religion links play a critical role in maintaining network connectivity,being remarkably more important than links with highest betweennesses [26] orbridgenesses [27]. Further content analysis shows that 46.7% of thesecross-religion links are probably related to charitable issues. Our findingsprovide quantitative insights into religious segregation and valuable clues toencourage cross-religion communications.

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