Spiritual microaggressions: Understanding the subtle messages that foster religious discrimination

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    9 Scopus citations


    Social workers have an ethical duty to recognize and support each person’s spiritual identity and ameliorate diverse forms of religious bias. These ethnical mandates are increasingly salient in light of recent Federal Bureau of Investigation data indicating that Jews, Muslims, Christians, and other people of faith are frequent victims of hate crimes. These discriminatory actions do not occur in a vacuum, but are legitimized by widely disseminated, subtly detrimental messages—commonly referred to as microaggressions. To assist social workers in identifying and counteracting these negative messages, this article delineates seven types of spiritual microaggressions that are frequently encountered in societal discourse. It concludes by offering some suggestions to help create a society that upholds and defends each person’s spiritual integrity and well-being.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)473-489
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


    • Jews
    • Muslims
    • Spirituality
    • hate crimes
    • religion

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health(social science)
    • Education


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