World Congress of Sociology edition:17 location:Göteborg date:11-17 July 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association edition:105 location:Toronto date:3-9 September 2009
In this article, we investigate the impact of religious involvement on voting preference for the Christian Democratic party in Belgium. Although religious involvement is declining in Western European democracies, there is still significant evidence for the influence of religion on voting behaviour. We examine the relationship between individual religiosity, community religious involvement and vote preference for the Christian Democratic party in Belgium in 2009. The results show that a Catholic denomination is the most important predictor for vote preference for the Christian Democratic party, followed by church practice. The multilevel analysis demonstrates that this effect can be observed not just on the individual level, but also on the community level as inhabitants of communities with high levels of church practice are more likely to vote for the Christian Democrats, even controlling for their own religious background and behaviour. Religion still plays a role in determining voting preferences, with the religious effect occurring simultaneously on the individual and the community level, although it is clear that the effect is much stronger at the individual level.