The religious identity of Filipinx Canadian immigrants: religious expressions, development, and enculturation/acculturation




Ortiz, Drexler Klein L.

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The current study examined religious identity in a Filipinx Christian immigrant adolescent and emerging adult sample (N = 197) in Canada. Religious identity was defined as the extent to which an individual has engaged in each of five processes of religious identity formation. A hierarchical cluster analysis was conducted to identify subgroups of participants based on their religious identity. Five subgroups were identified that represented different combinations of religious identity exploration and commitment, named Internalized, Ruminative Seeking, Indifferent, Externalized, and Undifferentiated. The study also examined whether participants in different religious identity clusters expressed their religiosity differently. It was found that participants with different religious identities differed in the level of religiosity expressed (i.e., some religious identity groups were more religious than others), but groups did not differ in the distinct ways religiosity could be expressed (i.e., all groups engaged in all dimensions of religiosity). There was also no evidence that religious identity differed based on participant age, contradicting expectations that religious identity would follow a developmental trajectory similar to other aspects of identity. Finally, the relations between religious identity clusters and enculturation and acculturation were examined to see if cultural change following immigration was related to the formation of religious identity. The findings suggested that Filipinx immigrants who were more oriented towards Filipinx culture were also more likely to be committed to their religious identity, and members of religious identities that were highly oriented towards Filipinx culture also expressed moderate to high levels of religiosity, suggesting that Filipinx culture emphasizes the importance of religious commitment and expressions of religiosity. The importance of immigration becomes more nuanced in participants who engaged in similar levels of enculturation and acculturation. Filipinx immigrants who were highly oriented to both Filipinx and Canadian cultures equally tended to be members of religious identities that experienced distressful exploration of religion. Filipinx immigrants with different levels of enculturation and acculturation may have used differences in their orientation towards Filipinx and Canadian cultures to help navigate their religious identity. The current study highlights variations in how different Filipinx Christian immigrants view their religious identity, and the importance of considering how immigration may influence religious identity formation.



identity, identity development, religious identity, religiosity, immigration, enculturation, Filipinx, Filipino, Filipina