The role of religion in European societies has become a prominent topic of academic and public debate. In the context of contemporary European societies questions concerning religion figure large when it comes to identities and social integration. The role of the different Christian traditions, the degree of secularization and the status of more recently immigrated religious minorities, especially of Muslims, are contested. Data on religious affiliation are regularly brought forward in debates about the strength, predominance and acceptance of various religious groups.
Despite the growing importance of this statistical information, social science research has thus far paid little attention to the question of religious affiliation and its precise measurement. In fact, current research uses figures on religious affiliation which vary greatly as our project phase I demonstrated.
The Swiss Metadatabase of Religious Affiliation in Europe (SMRE) has been set up to improve this situation. In the first phase (2011-2014) data from a wide range of sources have been collected by the SMRE team. In its current second phase (2015-2018), the project aims to substantially improve the data-situation. The second phase of the project is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).
The SMRE metadatase will provide detailed statistics and consolidated "best data" on religious affiliation for European countries and regions including the EU. It supports a broad joint international research effort of doing crowd research. For this purpose, our newly designed interactive online web-application (see data entry and data output) has been set up. The SMRE metadatabase follows an open data approach. Its use is free of charge.