Europe is currently undergoing major demographic changes due to aging populations and increased immigration. The fear of this demographic change is one of the ideological motives behind several xenophobic social and political movements in our time, gaining ground as racism and Islamophobia increase worldwide. Against this background, research on religion and demographics is becoming increasingly called for, and it is important that academic researchers are proactive in this situation, responding to the concerns aired in public debates and spaces related to the growing multi-ethnicity and religious diversity of our societies.

The newly published issue of the Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis (Vol. 28) discusses questions that arise in the intersection of the research fields of religion and demography. What are the statistical prognoses for the development of various religious groups and populations, in Europe and globally? What challenges are facing decision makers and legislators on society’s macro levels – and what new identities and lifestyles emerge on the micro level, in the lives of individuals? What happens when statistical information is abused and how can religion and change be discussed in an open, comprehensive and responsible way by researchers from different strands of academia?

The current volume of Scripta discusses the cultural, ethnic and religious aspects of the ongoing demographic change based on the latest research in the field. Among the authors are researchers representing the social sciences, theology, the study of religion, demography and media. They represent leading research environments in the field of religion and demography in Europe, the United States and Asia.

The volume is based on a conference organised in Turku, Finland in June 2017, by the Donner Institute, the Migration Institute of Finland and Åbo Akademi University. All articles are available open access online through Scripta’s web portal.

To scripta