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An ethnoreligious group (or ethno-religious group) is an ethnic group of people whose members are also unified by a common religious background. Ethnoreligious communities define their ethnic identity neither exclusively by ancestral heritage nor simply by religious affiliation, but often through a combination of both (a long shared history; a cultural tradition of its own; either a common geographical origin, or descent from a small number of common ancestors; a common language, not necessarily peculiar to the group; a common literature peculiar to the group; a common religion different from that of neighbouring groups; being a minority or being an oppressed or a dominant group within a larger community).
Examples of ethnic groups defined by ancestral religions are the Jews, the Druze of the Levant, the Copts of Egypt, the Yazidi of northern Iraq, the Zoroastrians of Iran and India, and the Serer of Senegal, the Gambia and Mauritania.
In an ethnoreligious group, particular emphasis is placed upon religious endogamy, and the concurrent discouragement of interfaith marriages or intercourse, as a means of preserving the stability and historical longevity of the community and culture. This adherence to religious endogamy can also, in some instances, be tied to ethnic nationalism if the ethnoreligious group possesses a historical base in a specific region.
Ethnoreligious group as a legal concept 
In Australian law, the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) defines "race" to include "ethnic, ethno-religious or national origin". The reference to "ethno-religious" was added by the Anti-Discrimination (Amendment) Act 1994 (NSW). John Hannaford, the NSW Attorney-General at the time, explained that "The effect of the latter amendment is to clarify that ethno-religious groups, such as Jews, Muslims and Sikhs, have access to the racial vilification and discrimination provisions of the Act. ...extensions of the Anti-Discrimination Act to ethno-religious groups will not extend to discrimination on the ground of religion."
The definition of "race" in Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 (Tas) likewise includes "ethnic, ethno-religious or national origin". However, unlike the NSW Act, it also prohibits discrimination on the grounds of "religious belief or affiliation" or "religious activity".
Development of Definition from United Kingdom Law 
In the United Kingdom the landmark legal case Mandla v Dowell-Lee placed a legal definition on ethnic groups with religious ties, which in turn has paved the way for definition of ethnoreligious group. Both Jews and Sikhs were determined to be ethnoreligious groups under the Anti-Discrimination (Amendment) Act 1994 (see above).
The Anti-Discrimination (Amendment) Act 1994 made reference to Mandla v Dowell-Lee which defined ethnic groups as:
- a long shared history, of which the group is conscious as distinguishing it from other groups, and the memory of which it keeps alive;
- a cultural tradition of its own, including family and social customs and manners, often but not necessarily associated with religious observance. In addition to those two essential characteristics the following characteristics are, in my opinion, relevant:
- either a common geographical origin, or descent from a small number of common ancestors;
- a common language, not necessarily peculiar to the group;
- a common literature peculiar to the group;
- a common religion different from that of neighbouring groups or from the general community surrounding it;
- being a minority or being an oppressed or dominant group within a larger community. For example, a conquered people (say, the inhabitants of England shortly after the Norman conquest) and their conquerors might both be ethnic groups
Examples of ethnoreligious groups 
The term "ethnoreligious" has been applied by at least one author to each of the following groups:
- Goan Catholics
- Hui people
- Crimean Karaites
- Mangalorean Catholics
- Moro people
- Pashtuns 
- Serer people
- Syrian Turkmens
See also 
- Diedrich Westermann, Edwin William Smith, Cyril Daryll Forde, International African Institute, International Institute of African Languages and Cultures, Project Muse, JSTOR (Organization), "Africa: journal of the International African Institute, Volume 63", pp 86-96, 270-1, Edinburgh University Press for the International African Institute, 1993
- "Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 Section 4".
- Cunneen, Chris; David Fraser, Stephen Tomsen (1997). Faces of hate: hate crime in Australia. Hawkins Press. p. 223. ISBN 1-876067-05-5. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
- "Anti-Discrimination (Amendment) Bill: Second Reading". Parliament of New South Wales. 2007-05-12. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
- Gareth Griffith (February 2006). Sedition, Incitement and Vilification: Issues in the Current Debate. NSW Parliamentary Library Research Service. p. 52. ISBN 0-7313-1792-0. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
- "ANTI-DISCRIMINATION ACT 1998 – SECT 3". Tasmanian Consolidated Acts. AustLII. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
- "ANTI-DISCRIMINATION ACT 1998 – SECT 16". Tasmanian Consolidated Acts. AustLII. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
- policypaperdraft. Policy.hu. Retrieved on 2010-12-23.
- Ethnic minorities in English law – Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved on 2010-12-23.
- Edgar Litt (1961). "Jewish Ethno-Religious Involvement and Political Liberalism". Social Forces 39 (4): 328–332. doi:10.2307/2573430. JSTOR 2573430.
- Immigrant Sub-National Ethnicity: Bengali-Hindus and Punjabi-Sikhs in the San Francisco Bay Area. Allacademic.com. Retrieved on 2010-12-23.
- Ethno-Religious Strife Closes Bridge of Hope Center – Gospel for Asia. Gfa.org (2008-08-05). Retrieved on 2010-12-23.
- Thomas 2006
- Harrison, p. 121
- Minahan 2002, p. 209
- Changing Contexts and Redefinitions of Identity among Bosniaks in Slovenia. Balkanologie.revues.org. Retrieved on 2010-12-23.
- Anti-Turkish obsession and the exodus of Balkan Muslims – Patterns of Prejudice. Informaworld.com (2009-07-04). Retrieved on 2010-12-23.
- Minahan 2002, p. 467
- Marty, Martin E. (1997). Religion, Ethnicity, and Self-Identity: Nations in Turmoil. University Press of New England. ISBN 0-87451-815-6. "[...] the three ethnoreligious groups that have played the roles of the protagonists in the bloody tragedy that has unfolded in the former Yugoslavia: the Christian Orthodox Serbs, the Roman Catholic Croats, and the Muslim Slavs of Bosnia."
- Minahan 2002, p. 744
- Minahan 2002, p. 914
- "The Diaspora Malay". Bethany World Prayer Center. 1997. Retrieved 2008-07-28.
- Anthony Hearle Johns, Nelly Lahoud (2005). Islam in world politics. New York: Routledge. p. 157. ISBN 0-415-32411-4.
- Barbara Watson Andaya, Leonard Y. Andaya (1984). A History of Malaysia. Lonndon: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 55. ISBN 0-333-27672-8,0-333-27672-8 Check
- Timothy P. Barnar (2004). Contesting Malayness: Malay identity across boundaries. Singapore: Singapore University press. p. 7. ISBN 9971-69-279-1.
- Frith, T. (September 1, 2000). "Ethno-Religious Identity and Urban Malays in Malaysia" (fee required). Asian Ethnicity (Routledge) 1 (2): 117–129. doi:10.1080/713611705. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- Minahan 2002, p. 1194
- Arrington, Leonard J. (1994). History of Idaho 2. University of Idaho Press. p. 268. ISBN 0-89301-164-9. See also May, Dean (1980). "Mormons". In Thernstrom, Stephan. Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. p. 720 (describing Mormons as an ethnic group); Epperson, Steven (1999). "Mormons". In Barkan, Elliott Robert. A notion of peoples: a sourcebook on America's multicultural heritage. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 411–27. ISBN 0-313-29961-7 (arguing that Mormonism has become an ethnicity in addition to a religion).
- Ehrlich, p. 315
- "The Pashtun Code". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 17 November 2006. Retrieved 18 January 2007.
- Ireton 2003
- Minahan 2002, p. 2030
- The dominant animal: human evolution and the environment by Paul R. Ehrlich, Anne H. Ehrlich
- Fracturing resemblances: identity and mimetic conflict in Melanesia and the West by Simon Harrison
- Sean Ireton (2003). "The Samaritans – A Jewish Sect in Israel: Strategies for Survival of an Ethno-religious Minority in the Twenty First Century". Anthrobase. Retrieved 2009-12-30.
- Levey, Geoffrey Brahm. Toward a Theory of Disproportionate American Jewish Liberalism.
- Minahan, James (2002). Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-313-32384-4.
- Thomas, Martin (October 2006). "Crisis management in colonial states: Intelligence and counter-insurgency in Morocco and Syria after the First World War". Intelligence & National Security 21 (5).
- J. Alan Winter (March 1996). "Symbolic Ethnicity or Religion Among Jews in the United States: A Test of Gansian Hypotheses". Review of Religious Research 37 (3).