Evangelical Christians said they were discriminated against for their moral views when taking an individual stand in their workplace according to a new report by Rice University's Religion and Public Life Program.
People often experienced prejudice in the form of microaggressions such as stereotyping and othering at their workplaces, from the hiring, firing, and promotion process, according to the study titled "How Religious Discrimination Is Perceived in the Workplace: Expanding the View."
"It was these everyday practices and behaviors in the workplace that was surprising to learn more about how they've manifested," said Rachel Schneider, one of the report's authors.
Apart from the discrimination among Christians, the study includes other religious groups such as Muslims and Jews. The study "Faith at Work: An Empirical Study" from which the report derived resulted in a "large proportion of Muslim (63%) and Jewish (52%) participants reported religious discrimination compared with other religious groups."
On the other hand, Christian subgroups differed in perception regarding discrimination in the workplace. Evangelical Protestants were most likely to report religious discrimination at 36%, whereas 20% for Catholics and mainline Protestants, and 24% for other Christians or other Protestants. Part of the respondents was the non-religious group who perceived 27% discrimination in the workplace.
The researchers from Rice University had surveyed more than 11,000 people and had conducted an in-depth interview with approximately 200 people from respondents including 159 Christians, 13 Jews, 10 Muslims, and 12 nonreligious people. Through these in-depth interviews, Jewish and Muslim participants narrated different insults they experienced in connection to antisemitic and anti-Islamic stereotypes.
The report cited one white Jewish woman who works in social services in Indiana described co-workers using a common antisemitic trope, saying she was "good at bookkeeping and keeping track of money." There's also one Jewish man working in the field of information technology in Florida who said he's hearing comments such as "Well, Jews run all the banks."
In particular, Evangelical Christians reported they received verbal microaggressions regularly in the form of specific name-calling. An Evangelical Woman who worked as a nurse in Tennessee narrated how her co-workers from her previous employment would call her "Ms. Holy." She told the researchers, she was name-called due to her stand on following the employer's protocols and these employees wanted to break these protocols.
The report also cited a Christian woman who was made fun of for not participating in her co-workers' tasteless conversations saying "Oh there's the hallelujah or the sanctimonious person." A Christian criminal investigator told the researchers "There's kind of this theme out there that Christians are inherently judgmental and hypocritical."
Schneider also said there were assumptions regarding Christian women of color never wanting to join social gatherings because they perceived "they didn't drink." These women would be excluded due to "perceived moral lifestyle differences," she added.
Though discrimination among Christians doesn't "carry the same risk for violence that religious minorities experience," it is important to recognize these perceived religious discriminations which are "demeaning, prejudicial or exclusionary "in the workplace and should not be dismissed, according to the authors.