A state religion (also called an established religion or official religion) is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state. A state with an official religion, while not secular, is not necessarily a theocracy, a country whose rulers have both secular and spiritual authority. State religions are official or government-sanctioned establishments of a religion, but the state does not need be under the control of the religion (as in a theocracy) nor is the state-sanctioned religion necessarily under the control of the state.
Official religions have been known throughout human history in almost all types of cultures, reaching into the Ancient Near East and prehistory. The relation of religious cult and the state was discussed by Varro, under the term of theologia civilis ("civic theology"). The first state-sponsored Christian church was the Armenian Apostolic Church, established in 301 CE. In Christianity, as the term church is typically applied to a Christian place of worship or organisations incorporating such ones, the term state church is associated with Christianity as sanctioned by the government, historically the state church of the Roman Empire in the last centuries of the Empire's existence, and is sometimes used to denote a specific modern national branch of Christianity. Closely related to state churches are ecclesiae, which are similar but carry a more minor connotation.
In the Middle East, many states with primarily Islamic population have Islam as their state religion, either as the Shiite or Sunni variety, though the degree of religious restrictions on the citizen's everyday life varies by country. Rulers of Saudi Arabia use both secular and religious power, while Iran's secular presidents are supposed to follow the decisions of religious authorities since the revolution of 1979. Turkey, which also has a primarily Muslim population, became a secular country after Atatürk's Reforms, although unlike the Russian Revolution of the same time period, it did not result in the adoption of state atheism.
The degree to which an official national religion is imposed upon citizens by the state in contemporary society varies considerably; from high as in Saudi Arabia to minimal or none at all as in Denmark, England, Iceland, and Greece.
The degree and nature of state backing for denomination or creed designated as a state religion can vary. It can range from mere endorsement (with or without financial support) with freedom for other faiths to practice, to prohibiting any competing religious body from operating and to persecuting the followers of other sects. In Europe, competition between Catholic and Protestant denominations for state sponsorship in the 16th century evolved the principle Cuius regio, eius religio (states follow the religion of the ruler) embodied in the text of the treaty that marked the Peace of Augsburg, 1555. In England, Henry VIII broke with Rome in 1534, being declared the Supreme Head of the Church of England, the official religion of England continued to be "Catholicism without the Pope" until after his death in 1547, while in Scotland the Church of Scotland opposed the religion of the ruler.
In some cases, an administrative region may sponsor and fund a set of religious denominations; such is the case in Alsace-Moselle in France under its local law, following the pre-1905 French concordatry legal system and patterns in Germany.
In some communist states, notably in North Korea and Cuba, the state sponsors religious organizations, and activities outside those state-sponsored religious organizations are met with various degrees of official disapproval. In these cases, state religions are widely seen as efforts by the state to prevent alternate sources of authority.
There is also a difference between a "state church" and the broader term of "state religion". A "state church" is a state religion created by a state for use exclusively by that state. An example of a "state religion" that is not also a "state church" is Roman Catholicism in Costa Rica, which was accepted as the state religion in the 1949 Constitution, despite the lack of a national church. In the case of a "state church", the state has absolute control over the church, but in the case of a "state religion", the church is ruled by an exterior body; in the case of Catholicism, the Vatican has control over the church. In either case, the official state religion has some influence over the ruling of the state. As of 2012, there are only five state churches left, as most countries that once featured state churches have separated the church from their government.
Disestablishment is the process of repealing a church's status as an organ of the state. In a state where an established church is in place, those opposed to such a move may be described as antidisestablishmentarians. This word is, however, most usually associated with the debate on the position of the Anglican churches in the British Isles; the Church of Ireland (disestablished in 1871), the Church of England in Wales (disestablished 1920), and the Church of England itself (which remains established).
Governments where Buddhism, either a specific form of, or the whole, has been established as an official religion:
The following states recognize some form of Christianity as their state or official religion (by denomination):
Jurisdictions where Roman Catholicism has been established as a state or official religion:
Jurisdictions that give various degrees of recognition in their constitutions to Roman Catholicism without establishing it as the state religion:
The jurisdictions below give various degrees of recognition in their constitutions to Eastern Orthodoxy, but without establishing it as the state religion:
Israel is defined in several of its laws as a "Jewish and democratic state" (medina yehudit ve-demokratit). However, the term "Jewish" is a polyseme that can describe the Jewish people as either an ethnic or a religious group. The debate about the meaning of the term "Jewish" and its legal and social applications is one of the most profound issues with which Israeli society deals. The problem of the status of religion in Israel, even though it is relevant to all religions, usually refers to the status of Judaism in Israeli society. Thus, even though from a constitutional point of view Judaism is not the state religion in Israel, its status nevertheless determines relations between religion and state and the extent to which religion influences the political center.
The State of Israel supports religious institutions, particularly Orthodox Jewish ones, and recognizes the "religious communities" as carried over from those recognized under the British Mandate—in turn derived from the pre-1917 Ottoman system of millets. These are: Jewish and Christian (Eastern Orthodox, Latin [Catholic], Gregorian-Armenian, Armenian-Catholic, Syrian [Catholic], Chaldean [Uniate], Greek Catholic Melkite, Maronite, and Syrian Orthodox). The fact that the Muslim population was not defined as a religious community does not affect the rights of the Muslim community to practice their faith. At the end of the period covered by the 2009 U.S. International Religious Freedom Report, several of these denominations were pending official government recognition; however, the Government has allowed adherents of not officially recognized groups freedom to practice. In 1961, legislation gave Muslim Shari'a courts exclusive jurisdiction in matters of personal status. Three additional religious communities have subsequently been recognized by Israeli law: the Druze (prior under Islamic jurisdiction), the Evangelical Episcopal Church, and the Bahá'í. These groups have their own religious courts as official state courts for personal status matters (see millet system).
The structure and goals of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel are governed by Israeli law, but the law does not say explicitly that it is a state Rabbinate. However, outspoken Israeli secularists such as Shulamit Aloni and Uri Avnery have long maintained that it is that in practice. Non-recognition of other streams of Judaism such as Reform Judaism and Conservative Judaism is the cause of some controversy; rabbis belonging to these currents are not recognized as such by state institutions and marriages performed by them are not recognized as valid. As pointed out by Avnery and Aloni, the essential problem is that Israel carries on the top-down Ottoman millet system, under which the government reserves the complete discretion of recognizing some religions groups and not recognizing others. As of 2015 marriage in Israel provides no provision for civil marriage, marriage between people of different religions, marriages by people who do not belong to one of nine recognised religious communities, or same-sex marriages, although there is recognition of marriages performed abroad.
The concept of state religions was known as long ago as the empires of Egypt and Sumer, when every city state or people had its own god or gods. Many of the early Sumerian rulers were priests of their patron city god. Some of the earliest semi-mythological kings may have passed into the pantheon, like Dumuzid, and some later kings came to be viewed as divine soon after their reigns, like Sargon the Great of Akkad. One of the first rulers to be proclaimed a god during his actual reign was Gudea of Lagash, followed by some later kings of Ur, such as Shulgi. Often, the state religion was integral to the power base of the reigning government, such as in Egypt, where Pharaohs were often thought of as embodiments of the god Horus.
Zoroastrianism was the state religion of the Sassanid dynasty which lasted until 651, when Persia was conquered by the Rashidun Caliphate. However, it persisted as the state religion of the independent state of Hyrcania until the 15th century.
Many of the Greek city-states also had a god or goddess associated with that city. This would not be its only god or goddess, but the one that received special honors. In ancient Greece, the city of Athens had Athena, Sparta had Ares, Delphi had Apollo and Artemis, Olympia had Zeus, Corinth had Poseidon and Thebes had Demeter.
In Rome, the office of Pontifex Maximus came to be reserved for the Emperor, who was often declared a god posthumously, or sometimes during his reign. Failure to worship the Emperor as a god was at times punishable by death, as the Roman government sought to link emperor worship with loyalty to the Empire. Many Christians and Jews were subject to persecution, torture and death in the Roman Empire, because it was against their beliefs to worship the Emperor.
In 311, Emperor Galerius, on his deathbed, declared a religious indulgence to Christians throughout the Roman Empire, focusing on the ending of anti-Christian persecution. Constantine I and Licinius, the two Augusti, by the Edict of Milan of 313, enacted a law allowing religious freedom to everyone within the Roman Empire. Furthermore, the Edict of Milan cited that Christians may openly practice their religion unmolested and unrestricted, and provided that properties taken from Christians be returned to them unconditionally. Although the Edict of Milan allowed religious freedom throughout the Empire, it did not abolish nor disestablish the Roman state cult (Roman polytheistic paganism). The Edict of Milan was written in such a way as to implore the blessings of the deity.
Constantine called up the First Council of Nicaea in 325, although he was not a baptised Christian until years later. Despite enjoying considerable popular support, Christianity was still not the official state religion in Rome, although it was in some neighboring states such as Armenia, Iberia, and Aksum.
Catholic Christianity, as opposed to Arianism and other ideologies deemed heretical, was declared to be the state religion of the Roman Empire on 27 February 380 by the decree De fide catolica of Emperor Theodosius I.
In China, the Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE) advocated Confucianism as the de facto state religion, establishing tests based on Confucian texts as an entrance requirement into government service—although, in fact, the "Confucianism" advocated by the Han emperors may be more properly termed a sort of Confucian Legalism or "State Confucianism". This sort of Confucianism continued to be regarded by the emperors, with a few notable exceptions, as a form of state religion from this time until the overthrow of the imperial system of government in 1911. Note however, there is a debate over whether Confucianism (including Neo-confucianism) is a religion or purely a philosophical system.
During the Mongol Yuan dynasty (1271–1368 CE), Tibetan Buddhism was established as the de facto state religion by the Mongol ruler Kublai Khan, the founder of the Yuan dynasty. The top-level department and government agency known as the Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs (Xuanzheng Yuan) was set up in Khanbaliq (modern Beijing) to supervise Buddhist monks throughout the empire. Since Kublai Khan only esteemed the Sakya sect of Tibetan Buddhism, other religions became less important. Before the end of the Yuan dynasty, 14 leader of the Sakya sect had held the post of Imperial Preceptor (Dishi), thereby enjoy special power.
Shamanism and Buddhism were once the dominant religions among the ruling class of the Mongol khanates of Golden Horde and Ilkhanate, the two western khanates of the Mongol Empire. In the early days, the rulers of both khanates increasingly adopted Tibetan Buddhism, similar to the Yuan dynasty at that time. However, the Mongol rulers Ghazan of Ilkhanate and Uzbeg of Golden Horde converted to Islam in 1295 CE because of the Muslim Mongol emir Nawruz and in 1313 CE because of Sufi Bukharan sayyid and sheikh Ibn Abdul Hamid respectively. Their official favoring of Islam as the state religion coincided with a marked attempt to bring the regime closer to the non-Mongol majority of the regions they ruled. In Ilkhanate, Christian and Jewish subjects lost their equal status with Muslims and again had to pay the poll tax; Buddhists had the starker choice of conversion or expulsion. In Golden Horde, Buddhism and Shamanism among the Mongols were proscribed, and by 1315, Uzbeg had successfully Islamicized the Horde, killing Jochid princes and Buddhist lamas who opposed his religious policy and succession of the throne.
|Georgia||Church of England||1789[note 2]|
|Maryland||Church of England||1776|
|Massachusetts||Congregational||1834 (parish church system)[note 3]|
|New Brunswick||Church of England|
|New Hampshire||Congregational||1877[note 4]|
|Newfoundland||Church of England|
|North Carolina||Church of England||1776[note 5]|
|Nova Scotia||Church of England||1850|
|Prince Edward Island||Church of England|
|South Carolina||Church of England||1790|
|Canada West||Church of England||1854|
|West Florida||Church of England[note 6]||1783[note 7]|
|East Florida||Church of England[note 6]||1783[note 7]|
|Virginia||Church of England||1786[note 8]|
|West Indies||Church of England||1868 (Barbados, not until 1969)|
These areas were disestablished and dissolved, yet their presences were tolerated by the English and later British colonial governments, as Foreign Protestants, whose communities were expected to observe their own ways without causing controversy or conflict for the prevalent colonists. After the Revolution, their ethno-religious backgrounds were chiefly sought as the most compatible non-British Isles immigrants.
The State of Deseret was a provisional state of the United States, proposed in 1849, by Mormon settlers in Salt Lake City. The provisional state existed for slightly over two years, but attempts to gain recognition by the United States government foundered for various reasons. The Utah Territory which was then founded was under Mormon control, and repeated attempts to gain statehood met resistance, in part due to concerns over the principle of separation of church and state conflicting with the practice of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of placing their highest value on "following counsel" in virtually all matters relating to their church-centered lives. The state of Utah was eventually admitted to the union on 4 January 1896, after the various issues had been resolved.
|Anhalt||Evangelical State Church of Anhalt||united Protestant||1918|
|Armenia||Armenian Apostolic Church||Oriental Orthodox||1921|
|Austria||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1918|
|Baden||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1918|
|United Evangelical Protestant State Church of Baden||united Protestant||1918|
|Bavaria||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1918|
|Protestant State Church in the Kingdom of Bavaria right of the Rhine||Lutheran and Reformed||1918|
|United Protestant Evangelical Christian Church of the Palatinate||united Protestant||1918|
|Bolivia||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||2009|
|Brazil[note 1]||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1890|
|Brunswick||Evangelical Lutheran State Church in Brunswick||Lutheran||1918|
|Bulgaria||Bulgarian Orthodox Church||Eastern Orthodox||1946|
|Chile||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1925|
|Colombia||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1936|
|Cuba||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1902|
|Cyprus||Cypriot Orthodox Church||Eastern Orthodox||1977 with the death of the Ethnarch Makarios III|
|Czechoslovakia||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1920|
|Denmark||Church of Denmark||Lutheran||no|
|England||Church of England||Anglican||no|
|Ethiopia||Ethiopian Orthodox Church||Oriental Orthodox||1974|
|Faroe Islands||Church of the Faroe Islands||Lutheran||no, elevated from a diocese of the Church of Denmark in 2007 (the two remain in close cooperation)|
|Finland||Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland||Lutheran||1869|
|Finnish Orthodox Church||Eastern Orthodox||?|
|France[note 2]||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1905|
|Georgia||Georgian Orthodox Church||Eastern Orthodox||1921|
|Greece||Greek Orthodox Church||Eastern Orthodox||The Church of Greece is recognized by the Greek Constitution as the "prevailing religion" in Greece. However, this provision does not give official status to the Church of Greece, while all other religions are recognized as equal and may be practiced freely.|
|Greenland||Church of Denmark||Lutheran||no, under discussion to be elevated from The Diocese of Greenland in the Church of Denmark to a state church for Greenland, along‐the‐lines the Faroese Church took in 2007|
|Guatemala||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1871|
|Haiti||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1987|
|Hesse||Evangelical Church in Hesse||united Protestant||1918|
|Hungary[note 3]||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1946|
|Iceland||Lutheran Evangelical Church||Lutheran||no|
|Ireland[note 4]||Church of Ireland||Anglican||1871|
|Italy||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||18 February 1984 (into force 25 April 1985)|
|Liechtenstein||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||no|
|Lippe||Church of Lippe||Reformed||1918|
|Lithuania||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1940|
|Lübeck||Evangelical Lutheran Church in the State of Lübeck||Lutheran||1918|
|Luxembourg||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||? (no official state church)|
|Republic of Macedonia||Macedonian Orthodox Church||Eastern Orthodox||1921|
|Malta||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||no|
|Mecklenburg-Schwerin||Evangelical Lutheran State Church of Mecklenburg-Schwerin||Lutheran||1918|
|Mecklenburg-Strelitz||Mecklenburg-Strelitz State Church||Lutheran||1918|
|Mexico||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1857 (reestablished between 1864 and 1867)|
|Monaco||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||no|
|Netherlands||Dutch Reformed Church||Reformed||1795|
|Norway||Church of Norway||Lutheran||As of 2012 the Constitution of Norway no longer names Lutheranism as the official religion of the state and in 2017 the church became an independent legal entity, but article 16 says that "The Church of Norway [...] will remain the Established Church of Norway and will as such be supported by the State." As of 1 January 2017 the Church of Norway is a legal entity independent of the state.|
|Oldenburg||Evangelical Lutheran Church of Oldenburg||Lutheran||1918|
|Panama||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1904|
|Paraguay||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1992|
|Philippines[note 5]||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1898|
|Poland[note 6]||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1947|
|Portugal||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1910, 1976 (reestablished between 1933 and 1974)|
pre 1866 provinces
|Evangelical State Church of Prussia's older Provinces with nine ecclesiastical provinces||united Protestant||1918|
Province of Hanover
|Evangelical Reformed State Church of the Province of Hanover||Reformed||1918|
Province of Hanover
|Evangelical Lutheran State Church of Hanover||Lutheran||1918|
Province of Hesse-Nassau (partially)
|Evangelical State Church of Frankfurt upon Main||united Protestant||1918|
Province of Hesse-Nassau (partially)
|Evangelical Church of Electoral Hesse||united Protestant||1918|
Province of Hesse-Nassau (partially)
|Evangelical State Church in Nassau||united Protestant||1918|
Prov. of Schleswig-Holstein
|Evangelical Lutheran Church of Schleswig-Holstein||Lutheran||1918|
|Quebec||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1960|
|Romania||Romanian Orthodox Church||Eastern Orthodox||1947|
|Russia||Russian Orthodox Church||Eastern Orthodox||1917|
|Thuringia||church bodies in principalities which merged in Thuringia in 1920||Lutheran||1918|
|Saxony||Evangelical Lutheran State Church of Saxony||Lutheran||1918|
|Schaumburg-Lippe||Evangelical State Church of Schaumburg-Lippe||Lutheran||1918|
|Scotland||Church of Scotland||Presbyterian||State control disclaimed since 1638. Formally recognised as not an established church in 1921|
|Serbia||Serbian Orthodox Church||Eastern Orthodox||1920|
|Spain||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1978|
|Sweden||Church of Sweden||Lutheran||2000|
|Switzerland||separate Cantonal Churches («Landeskirchen»)||Zwinglianism & Calvinism or Catholic||during the 20th century|
|Turkey||Sunni Islam||1928 (The caliphate held by Ottoman dynasty was abolished on 3 March 1924. Sunni Islam was the official religion of the state until 10 April 1928.)|
|Tuvalu||Church of Tuvalu||Reformed||no|
|Uruguay||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1918 (into effect in 1919)|
|United States[note 7]||none since 1776, which was made explicit in the Bill of Rights in 1792||none||n/a; some state legislatures required all citizens in those states to be members of a church, and some had official churches, such as Congregationalism in some New England states such as Massachusetts. This eventually ended in 1833 when Massachusetts was the last state to disestablish its church.|
|Waldeck||Evangelical State Church of Waldeck and Pyrmont||united Protestants||1918|
|Wales[note 8]||Church of England||Anglican||1920|
|Württemberg||Evangelical State Church in Württemberg||Lutheran||1918|
Prohibits federal and state authorities to intervene on religion, granting freedom of religion.(still in force), instituting the separation of church and state for the first time in Brazilian law. Positivist thinker Demétrio Nunes Ribeiro urged the new government to adopt this stance. The 1891 Constitution, the first under the Republican system of government, abolished privileges for any specific religion, reaffirming the separation of church and state. This has been the case ever since the 1988 Constitution of Brazil, currently in force, does so in its Nineteenth Article. The Preamble to the Constitution does refer to "God's protection" over the document's promulgation, but this is not legally taken as endorsement of belief in any deity.
The role played by the Catholic Church in the historical and cultural formation of the Republic is hereby recognized.
Within an independent and autonomous system, the State recognizes the Catholic Church as an important element in the historical, cultural, and moral formation of Peru and lends it its cooperation. The State respects other denominations and may establish forms of collaboration with them.
The relations between the Republic of Poland and the Roman Catholic Church shall be determined by international treaty concluded with the Holy See, and by statute. The relations between the Republic of Poland and other churches and religious organizations shall be determined by statutes adopted pursuant to agreements concluded between their appropriate representatives and the Council of Ministers.
Buddhism is the most widely practiced religion in Bhutan. Vajrayana Buddhism is the state religion of Bhutan, and Buddhists comprise two-thirds to three-quarters and Hinduism one-quarter of its population. Although the Buddhism practiced in Bhutan originated in Tibetan Buddhism, it differs significantly in its rituals, liturgy, and monastic organization. The state religion has long been supported financially by the government through annual subsidies to Buddhist monastery, shrines, monks, and nuns. In the modern era, support of the state religion during the reign of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck includes the manufacture of 10,000 gilded bronze images of the Buddha, publication of elegant calligraphied editions of the 108-volume Kangyur (Collection of the Words of the Buddha) and the 225-volume Tengyur (Collection of Commentaries), and the construction of numerous chorten (stupas) throughout the country. Guaranteed representation in the National Assembly and the Royal Advisory Council, Buddhists constitute the majority of society and are assured an influential voice in public policy.Christianity in late antiquity
Christianity in late antiquity traces Christianity during the Christian Roman Empire – the period from the rise of Christianity under Emperor Constantine (c. 313), until the fall of the Western Roman Empire (c. 476). The end-date of this period varies because the transition to the sub-Roman period occurred gradually and at different times in different areas. One may generally date late ancient Christianity as lasting to the late 6th century and the re-conquests under Justinian (reigned 527-565) of the Byzantine Empire, though a more traditional end-date is 476, the year in which Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus, traditionally considered the last western emperor.
Christianity began to spread initially from Roman Judaea without state support or endorsement. It became the state religion of Armenia in either 301 or 314, of Ethiopia in 325, and of Georgia in 337. With the Edict of Thessalonica it became the state religion of the Roman Empire in 380.Cult of the Supreme Being
The Cult of the Supreme Being (French: Culte de l'Être suprême) was a form of deism established in France by Maximilien Robespierre during the French Revolution. It was intended to become the state religion of the new French Republic and a replacement for Roman Catholicism and its rival, the Cult of Reason.
It went unsupported after the fall of Robespierre and was officially proscribed when Napoleon restored Catholicism in France.Dratshang Lhentshog
The Dratshang Lhentshog (Dzongkha: གྲྭ་ཚང་ལྷན་ཚོགས་; Wylie: grwa-tshang lhan-tshogs) is the Commission for the Monastic Affairs of Bhutan. Under the 2008 Constitution, it is the bureaucracy that oversees the Drukpa Kagyu sect that is the state religion of Bhutan. Although Bhutan has a state religion, the role of the religious bureaucracy ideally complements secular institutions within a dual system of government.Freedom of religion by country
The status of religious freedom around the world varies from country to country. States can differ based on whether or not they guarantee equal treatment under law for followers of different religions, whether they establish a state religion (and the legal implications that this has for both practitioners and non-practitioners), the extent to which religious organizations operating within the country are policed, and the extent to which religious law is used as a basis for the country's legal code.
There are further discrepancies between some countries' self-proclaimed stances of religious freedom in law and the actual practice of authority bodies within those countries: a country's establishment of religious equality in their constitution or laws does not necessarily translate into freedom of practice for residents of the country. Additionally, similar practices (such as having citizens identify their religious preference to the government or on identification cards) can have different consequences depending on other sociopolitical circumstances specific to the countries in question.
Over 120 national constitutions mention equality regardless of religion.Islam in Pakistan
Islam is the largest and the state religion of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Pakistan has been called a "global center for political Islam".About 97% of Pakistanis are Muslims. Pakistan has the second largest number of Muslims in the world after Indonesia. The majority are Sunni (77%) while Shias make up between 15–20% and Ahmadis (considered by the constitution of Pakistan to be non-Muslims) are 1%.Islamic state
An Islamic state (Arabic: دولة إسلامية, dawlah islāmiyyah) is a type of government primarily based on the application of shari'a (Islamic law), dispensation of justice, maintenance of law and order. From the early years of Islam, numerous governments have been founded as "Islamic".However, the term "Islamic state" has taken on a more specific connotation since the 20th century. The concept of the modern Islamic state has been articulated and promoted by ideologues such as Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Israr Ahmed or Sayyid Qutb. Like the earlier notion of the caliphate, the modern Islamic state is rooted in Islamic law. It is modeled after the rule of Muhammad. However, unlike caliph-led governments which were imperial despotisms or monarchies (Arabic: malik), a modern Islamic state can incorporate modern political institutions such as elections, parliamentary rule, judicial review, and popular sovereignty.
Today, many Muslim countries have incorporated Islamic law, wholly or in part, into their legal systems. Certain Muslim states have declared Islam to be their state religion in their constitutions, but do not apply Islamic law in their courts. Islamic states which are not Islamic monarchies are usually referred to as Islamic republics.Jainism in North Karnataka
Jainism in North Karnataka flourished under the Chalukyas, Kadamba, Rashtrakutas, and Vijayanagara empire. Imbued with religious feeling, patronage was extended towards the building of Jain temple and it garnered high repute among the people, particularly the ruling classes and the mercantile community; effectively getting treated as the state religion.Religion in Bangladesh
Islam is the state religion of Bangladesh by article 2A of the constitution, however "the State shall ensure equal status and equal right in the practice of the Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and other religions".As per 2011 census Muslims constitute over 87% of the population, while Hindus constitute 11% and remaining rest constitute 1%. A survey in late 2003 confirmed that religion is the first choice by a citizen for self-identification. The Constitution denominates Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, and Buddhism.Religion in France
Religion in France is diverse under secular principles. It can attribute its diversity to the country's adherence to freedom of religion and freedom of thought, as guaranteed by the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. The Republic is based on the principle of laïcité (or "freedom of conscience") enforced by the 1880s Jules Ferry laws and the 1905 French law on the Separation of the Churches and the State. Catholicism, the religion of a now small majority of French people, is no longer the state religion that it was before the French Revolution, as well as throughout several non-republican regimes of the 19th century (the Restoration, the July Monarchy and the Second French Empire).
Major religions practised in France include the Christianity (include Catholics, various branches of Protestantism, Orthodoxy, Armenian Christianity), Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism amongst others, making it a multiconfessional country. Sunday mass attendance has fallen to 5% for the Catholics, and the overall level of observance is considerably lower than in the past. According to a Eurobarometer survey conducted in 2010, 27% of French citizens responded that they "believe there is a God", 27% answered that they "believe there is some sort of spirit or life force", and 40% answered that they "do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force". This makes France one of the most irreligious countries in the world.Religion in Korea
Religion in Korea refers the various religious traditions practiced on the Korean peninsula. The oldest indigenous religion of Korea is Korean shamanism, which has been passed down from prehistory to the present. Buddhism was introduced to Korea from China during the Three Kingdoms era in the 4th century, and the religion flourished until the Joseon Dynasty, when Korean Confucianism became the state religion. During the Late Joseon Dynasty, in the 19th century, Christianity began to gain a foothold in Korea. While both Christianity and Buddhism would play important roles in the resistance to the Japanese occupation of Korea in the first half of the 20th century, only about 4% of Koreans were members of a religious organization in 1940.Since the division of Korea into two sovereign states in 1945—North Korea and South Korea—religious life in the two countries has diverged, shaped by different political structures. Religion in South Korea has been characterized by a rise of Christianity and a revival of Buddhism, though the majority of South Koreans have no religious affiliation. Religion in North Korea is characterized by state atheism in which freedom of religion is nonexistent. Juche ideology, which promotes the North Korean cult of personality, is regarded by experts as the national religion.Religion in Morocco
With 93% of its population being considered religious, Islam is the majority and constitutionally established state religion in Morocco. The vast majority of Muslims in Morocco are Sunni belonging to Maliki school of jurisprudence. The King of Morocco claims his legitimacy as a descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
The second-largest religion in the country is Christianity, but most Christians in Morocco are foreigners. There is a Bahá'í community. Only a fraction of the former number of Jews has remained in the country, many having moved to Israel.
The Moroccan constitution grants the freedom to worship and congregation, while recognizing Islam as the state religion. But the Moroccan penal code contains many laws that contradict the constitution, including the 220, 222 articles of the penal code of the country, which are usually used against non-Muslim Moroccans.Religion in Nigeria
Nigeria, the most populous African country (with a population of over 182 million in 2015), is nearly equally divided between Christianity and Islam, though the exact ratio is uncertain.The majority of Nigerian Muslims are Sunni and are concentrated in the northern region of the country, while Christians dominate in the south.
Most of Nigeria's Christians are Protestant (broadly defined) though about a quarter are Catholic.From the 1990s to the 2000s, there was significant growth in Protestant churches, including the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Winners' Chapel, Christ Apostolic Church (the first Aladura Movement in Nigeria), Deeper Christian Life Ministry, (Christian Reformed Church, Nigeria),[Evangelical Church Winning All]], Mountain of Fire and Miracles, Christ Embassy, The Synagogue Church Of All Nations, The Common Wealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), the Aladura Church (indigenous Christian churches being especially strong in the Yoruba and Igbo areas), and of evangelical churches in general. These churches have spilled over into adjacent and southern areas of the middle belt. Denominations like the Seventh-day Adventist also exist.Other leading Protestant churches in the country are the Church of Nigeria of the Anglican Communion, the Assemblies of God Church, the Nigerian Baptist Convention and The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations. The Yoruba area contains a large Anglican population, while Igboland is predominantly Catholic and the Edo area is predominantly Assemblies of God, which was introduced into Nigeria by Augustus Ehurie Wogu and his associates at Old Umuahia.
Nigeria has the largest Muslim population in sub-Saharan Africa. Islam dominates the north and has a number of supporters in the South Western, Yoruba part of the country. In terms of Nigeria's major ethnic groups' religious affiliations, the Hausa ethnic group in the North is mostly Muslim, the West which is the Yoruba tribe is divided among mainly Christianity, Islam and traditional religions, while the Igbos of the East and the Ijaw in the South are predominantly Christians (Catholics) and some practitioners of traditional religions. The middle belt of Nigeria contains the largest number of minority ethnic groups in Nigeria and they are mostly Christians and members of traditional religions with few Muslim converts.The vast majority of Muslims in Nigeria are Sunni, belonging to Maliki school of jurisprudence; however, a sizeable minority also belongs to Shafi madhhab. A large number of Sunni Muslims are members of Sufi brotherhoods. Most Sufis follow the Qadiriyya, Tijaniyyah or Mouride movement. A significant Shia minority exists (see Shia in Nigeria). Some northern states have incorporated Sharia law into their previously secular legal systems, which has brought about some controversy. Kano State has sought to incorporate Sharia law into its constitution. The majority of Quranists follow the Kalo Kato or Quraniyyun movement. There are also Ahmadiyya and Mahdiyya minorities.Religion in Somalia
The major religion in Somalia is Islam. There is a small Christian community in Somalia mainly living amongst Somali Muslims in the Banaadir region. Additionally, some ethnic minorities in the southern part of the country practice traditional faiths.Religion in Sri Lanka
Buddhism has been considered the state religion in Sri Lanka and has been given special privileges in the Sri Lankan constitution such as government protect and foster Buddhist Darma. However the Constitution also provides freedom of religion and right to equality among all its citizens. Sri Lanka's population practices a variety of religions. As of the 2011 census 70.2% of Sri Lankans were Theravada Buddhists, 12.6% were Hindus, 9.7% were Muslims (mainly Sunni) and 7.4% Christians (6.1% Roman Catholic and 1.3% other Christian). In 2008 Sri Lanka was the third most religious country in the world according to a Gallup poll, with 99% of Sri Lankans saying religion is an important part of their daily life.Secular state
A secular state is an idea pertaining to secularity, whereby a state is or purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. A secular state also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion, and claims to avoid preferential treatment for a citizen from a particular religion/nonreligion over other religions/nonreligion. Secular states do not have a state religion (e.g. an established religion) or an equivalent, although the absence of an established state religion does not necessarily mean that a state is fully secular in all respects. For example, many secular states have religious references in their national anthems and flags.Separation of church and state
The separation of church and state is a philosophic and jurisprudential concept for defining political distance in the relationship between religious organizations and the nation state. Conceptually, the term refers to the creation of a secular state (with or without legally explicit church–state separation) and to disestablishment, the changing of an existing, formal relationship between the church and the state.In a society, the degree of political separation between the church and the civil state is determined by the legal structures and prevalent legal views that define the proper relationship between organized religion and the state. The arm's length principle proposes a relationship wherein the two political entities interact as organizations independent of the authority of the other. The strict application of secular principle of laïcité (secularity) is used in France, while secular societies, such as Denmark and the United Kingdom, maintain a form of constitutional recognition of an official state religion.The philosophy of the separation of the church from the civil state parallels the philosophies of secularism, disestablishmentarianism, religious liberty, and religious pluralism, by way of which the European states assumed some of the social roles of the church, the welfare state, a social shift that produced a culturally secular population and public sphere. In practice, church–state separation varies from total separation, mandated by the country's political constitution, as in India and Singapore, to a state religion, as in the Maldives.State church of the Roman Empire
With the Edict of Thessalonica in 380 AD, Emperor Theodosius I made Nicene Christianity the Empire's state religion. The Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, and the Catholic Church each stand in that continuity.
Earlier in the 4th century, following the Diocletianic Persecution of 303-313 and the Donatist controversy that arose in consequence, Constantine had convened councils of bishops to define the orthodoxy of the Christian faith, expanding on earlier Christian councils. A series of ecumenical councils convened by successive emperors met during the 4th and 5th centuries, but Christianity continued to suffer rifts and schisms surrounding the issues of Arianism, Nestorianism, and Miaphysitism. In the 5th century the Western Empire decayed as a polity: invaders sacked Rome in 410 and in 455, and Odoacer, an Arian barbarian warlord, forced Romulus Augustus, the last nominal Western Emperor, to abdicate in 476. However, apart from the aforementioned schisms, the church as an institution persisted in communion, if not without tension, between the east and west. In the 6th century the Byzantine armies of the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I recovered Italy and other sections of the western Mediterranean shore. The Eastern Roman Empire soon lost most of these gains, but it held Rome, as part of the Exarchate of Ravenna, until 751, a period known in church history as the Byzantine Papacy. The Muslim conquests of the 7th century would begin a process of converting most of the then-Christian world in West Asia and North Africa to Islam, severely restricting the reach both of the Byzantine Empire and of its church. Missionary activity directed from Constantinople, the Byzantine capital, did not lead to a lasting expansion of the formal link between the church and the Byzantine emperor, since areas outside the empire's political and military control set up their own distinct churches, as in the case of Bulgaria in 919.
Justinian I, who became emperor in Constantinople in 527, recognized the patriarchs of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem as the top leadership of the Church (see Pentarchy). However, Justinian claimed "the right and duty of regulating by his laws the minutest details of worship and discipline, and also of dictating the theological opinions to be held in the Church".In Justinian's day, the Christian church was not entirely under the Emperor's control even in the East: the Oriental Orthodox had seceded, having rejected the Council of Chalcedon in 451, and called the adherents of the imperially recognized Church "Melkites", from Syriac malkâniya "imperial". In western Europe, Christianity was mostly subject to the laws and customs of nations that owed no allegiance to the emperor in Constantinople. While eastern-born popes appointed or at least confirmed by the Eastern Emperor continued to be loyal to him as their political lord, they refused to accept his authority in religious matters, or the authority of such a council as the imperially convoked Council of Hieria of 754. Pope Gregory III (731-741) was the last Bishop of Rome to ask the Byzantine ruler to ratify his election. With the crowning of Charlemagne by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800 as Imperator Romanorum, the political split between east and west became irrevocable. Spiritually, Chalcedonian Christianity persisted, at least in theory, as a unified entity until the Great Schism and its formal division with the mutual excommunication in 1054 of Rome and Constantinople. The Eastern Roman Empire finally collapsed with the Fall of Constantinople to the Islamic Ottoman Turks in 1453.
The obliteration of the Empire's boundaries by Germanic peoples and an outburst of missionary activity among these peoples, who had no direct links with the Eastern Roman Empire, and among Pictic and Celtic peoples who had never been part of the Roman Empire, fostered the idea of a universal church free from association with a particular state. On the contrary, "in the East Roman or Byzantine view, when the Roman Empire became Christian, the perfect world order willed by God had been achieved: one universal empire was sovereign, and coterminous with it was the one universal church"; and the church came, by the time of the demise of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, to merge psychologically with it to the extent that its bishops had difficulty in thinking of Christianity without an emperor.Modern authors refer to the church associated with the emperor in a variety of ways: as the catholic church, the orthodox church, the imperial church, the imperial Roman church, or the Byzantine church, although some of these terms are also used for wider communions extending outside the Roman Empire. The legacy of the idea of a universal church carries on, directly or indirectly, in today's Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church, as well as in others, such as the Anglican Communion.Theocracy
Theocracy is a form of government in which a religious institution is the source from which all authority derives. The Oxford English Dictionary has this definition:
1. a system of government in which priests rule in the name of God or a god.
1.1. the commonwealth of Israel from the time of Moses until the election of Saul as King.
An ecclesiocracy is a situation where the religious leaders assume a leading role in the state, but do not claim that they are instruments of divine revelation: for example, the prince-bishops of the European Middle Ages, where the bishop was also the temporal ruler. Such a state may use the administrative hierarchy of the religion for its own administration, or it may have two "arms"—administrators and clergy—but with the state administrative hierarchy subordinate to the religious hierarchy. Theocracy differs from theonomy, the latter of which is government based on divine law.The papacy in the Papal States occupied a middle ground between theocracy and ecclesiocracy, since the Pope did not claim he was a prophet who received revelation from God and translated it into civil law.
Religiously endorsed monarchies fall between theocracy and ecclesiocracy, according to the relative strengths of the religious and political organs.
Most forms of theocracy are oligarchic in nature, involving rule of the many by the few, some of whom so anointed under claim of divine commission.
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