Social Indicators Research

, Volume 110, Issue 3, pp 993–1012 | Cite as

An Exploratory Study of Religion and Trust in Ghana

  • Isaac AddaiEmail author
  • Chris Opoku-Agyeman
  • Helen Tekyiwa Ghartey


Based on individual-level data from 2008 Afro-barometer survey, this study explores the relationship between religion (religious affiliation and religious importance) and trust (interpersonal and institutional) among Ghanaians. Employing hierarchical multiple regression technique, our analyses reveal a positive relationship between religious affiliation and both measures of trust among Ghanaians. A positive relationship between Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Pentecostal/Evangelical faiths and interpersonal trust compared to non/traditional religion are detected. The data also reveal that upon controls, only Catholic and Pentecostal/Evangelical show significant positive effect on institutional trust among Ghanaians compared to non/traditional religion. It is worth noting that religious importance does not significantly predictor of neither interpersonal nor institutional trust among Ghanaians. The overall effect of religion on trust is weak, and weaker for institutional trust. Most of the difference relates to the difference between world religions and traditional religions. Place of residence, political affiliation, region of residence, ethnicity, and education are significant nonreligious predictors of both institution and interpersonal trust among Ghanaians. The findings further show that whereas age significantly influences only interpersonal trust, gender, life satisfaction, media exposure, sense of corruption, and sense of unfair treatment are significant factors molding institutional trust among Ghanaians. Policy implications of the study are discussed, emphasizing the need to incorporate religious organizations in efforts aimed at boosting interpersonal and institutional trust among Ghanaians. Religious-specific trust promotion program is suggested as possible strategy likely to succeed in Ghana. The need for more detailed studies in this important but ignored area is emphasized.


Religious affiliation Religious importance Interpersonal trust Institutional trust Micro-level Ghana 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isaac Addai
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chris Opoku-Agyeman
    • 2
  • Helen Tekyiwa Ghartey
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Social Science and HumanitiesLansing Community CollegeLansingUSA
  2. 2.Department of Public Administration and Urban StudiesUniversity of AkronAkronUSA
  3. 3.Department of Social WelfareKorle-Bu Teaching HospitalAccraGhana

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