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.
Religion is a social-cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements. However, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion.
A creed is a statement of the shared beliefs of a religious community in the form of a fixed formula summarizing core tenets.
In international law, a sovereign state, sovereign country, or simply state, is a political entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, one government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood that a sovereign state is neither dependent on nor subjected to any other power or 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.
The history of the world, in common parlance, is the history of humanity, as determined from archaeology, anthropology, genetics, linguistics, and other disciplines; and, for periods since the invention of writing, from recorded history and from secondary sources and studies.
The ancient Near East was the home of early civilizations within a region roughly corresponding to the modern Middle East: Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt, ancient Iran, Anatolia/Asia Minor and Armenian Highlands, the Levant, Cyprus and the Arabian Peninsula. The ancient Near East is studied in the fields of Near Eastern archaeology and ancient history.
In modern English, the term cult has come to usually refer to a social group defined by its unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or its common interest in a particular personality, object or goal. This sense of the term is controversial and it has divergent definitions in both popular culture and academia and it also has been an ongoing source of contention among scholars across several fields of study. It is usually considered pejorative.
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 Middle East is a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia, Turkey, and Egypt. Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest Middle Eastern nation while Bahrain is the smallest. The corresponding adjective is Middle Eastern and the derived noun is Middle Easterner. The term has come into wider usage as a replacement of the term Near East beginning in the early 20th century.
Islam is an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God, and that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, most commonly known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful, and unique, and has guided mankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs. The primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, claimed to be the verbatim word of God, and the teachings and normative examples of Muhammad.
The President of Iran is the head of government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The President is the highest ranking official of Iran. The President carries out the decrees, and answers to the Supreme Leader of Iran, who functions as the country's head of state. Unlike the executive in other countries, the President of Iran does not have full control over the government, which is ultimately under the control of the Supreme Leader. Chapter IX of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran sets forth the qualifications for presidential candidates. The procedures for presidential election and all other elections in Iran are outlined by the Supreme Leader. The President functions as the executive of the decrees and wishes of the Supreme Leader, including: signing treaties with foreign countries and international organizations; and administering national planning, budget, and state employment affairs. The President also appoints the ministers, subject to the approval of Parliament, and the Supreme Leader who can dismiss or reinstate any of the ministers at any time, regardless of the president or parliament's decision. The Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei directly chooses the ministries of Defense, Intelligence and Foreign Affairs, as well as certain other ministries, such as the Science Ministry. Iran’s regional policy is directly controlled by the office of the Supreme Leader with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ task limited to protocol and ceremonial occasions. All of Iran’s ambassadors to Arab countries, for example, are chosen by the Quds Corps, which directly reports to the Supreme Leader.
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.
Islam is the state religion of Saudi Arabia and its law requires all citizens to be Muslims. Public worship by adherents of religions other than Islam is forbidden. Any non-Muslim attempting to acquire Saudi Arabian nationality must convert to Islam. Furthermore, Islam is reduced to Wahhabism and even other strants within Sunnism are restricted. Saudi Arabia has been criticized for its implementation of Islamic law and its human rights record.
Of all the religions in Denmark, the most prominent is Christianity in the form of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark, the state religion. Hence, Denmark is not a secular state as there is a clear link between the church and the state with a Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs. However, pockets of other major faiths can be found among the population. In January 2019, 74.7% of the population of Denmark were registered members of the Church of Denmark, the officially established church, which is Protestant in classification and Lutheran in orientation. This is down 0.6% compared to the year earlier and 1.2% down compared to two years earlier. Despite the high membership figures, only 3% of the population regularly attend Sunday services and only 19% of Danes consider religion to be an important part of their life.
The Church of England is the established state church in England, whose Supreme Governor is the Monarch. Other Christian traditions in England include Roman Catholicism, Methodism, and the Baptists. After Christianity, the religions with the most adherents are Hinduism, Sikhism, Neopaganism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and the Bahá'í Faith. There are also organisations promoting irreligion, including humanism and atheism.
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.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.
Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. They emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than also by good works, and the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church.
Cuius regio, eius religio is a Latin phrase which literally means 'whose realm, his religion', meaning that the religion of the ruler was to dictate the religion of those ruled. This legal principle was a major development in the collective if not individual freedom of religion in Western civilization.
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 concordatory legal system and patterns in Germany.
France, officially the French Republic, is a sovereign state whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.02 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.
The territory of the former Alsace-Lorraine, legally known as Alsace-Moselle, is a region in the eastern part of France, bordering with Germany. Its principal cities are Metz and Strasbourg. Alsace-Moselle was part of the German Empire from 1871 to 1918, and was subsequently reoccupied by Germany from 1940 until its recapture by the Allies at the end of World War II. Consisting of the two departments that make up the region of Alsace, which are Haut-Rhin and Bas-Rhin, and the department of Moselle, which is the northeastern part of Lorraine, there are historical reasons for the continuance of local law in Alsace-Moselle. Alsace-Moselle maintains its own local legislation, applying specific customs and laws on certain issues in spite of its being an integral part of France. These laws are principally in areas that France addressed by changing its own law in the period 1871–1919, when Alsace-Moselle was a part of Germany.
Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.
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.[ citation needed ]
There is also a difference between a "state church" and the broader term of "state religion".[ citation needed ] A "state church" is a state religion created by a state for use exclusively by that state.[ citation needed ][ clarification needed ] 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,[ citation needed ] 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.[ citation needed ] As of 2012, there are only five state churches left,[ clarification needed ] as most countries that once featured state churches have separated the church from their government.[ citation needed ]
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).
Currently, the following religions have been established as state religions in some countries. All are versions of Christianity, Islam or Buddhism.
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:
The Anglican Church of England is the established church in England as well as all three of the Crown Dependencies.
Jurisdictions where a Lutheran church has been established as a state religion include the Nordic countries (as of 2012 Norway does not have a public religion).
Many Muslim-majority countries have constitutionally established Islam, or a specific form of it, as a state religion. Proselytism (converting people to another religion) is often illegal.
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 centre.
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 the 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 religious groups and not recognizing others. As of 2015 [update] 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.
In some countries, there is a political ideology sponsored by the government that may be called political religion.
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.
The tiny kingdom of Adiabene in northern Mesopotamia converted to Judaism around 34 CE.
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 neighbouring states such as Armenia, Iberia, and Aksum.
Roman Religion (Neoplatonic Hellenism) was restored for a time by the Emperor Julian from 361 to 363. Julian does not appear to have reinstated the persecutions of the earlier Roman emperors.
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 380by 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 leaders 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.
The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with North America and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (August 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Georgia||Church of England||1789|
|Maryland||Church of England||1776|
|Massachusetts||Congregational||1834 (parish church system)|
|New Brunswick||Church of England|
|Newfoundland||Church of England|
|North Carolina||Church of England||1776|
|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||1783|
|East Florida||Church of England||1783|
|Virginia||Church of England||1786|
|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||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||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||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1946|
|Iceland||Lutheran Evangelical Church||Lutheran||no|
|Ireland||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)|
|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|
|North Macedonia||Macedonian Orthodox Church||Eastern Orthodox||1921|
|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||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1898|
|Poland||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1947|
|Portugal||Roman Catholic Church||Catholic||1910, 1976 (reestablished de facto between 1933 and 1974)|
| Prussia |
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||Remains the national church; state control disclaimed since 1638. Formally recognised as not an established church by the Church of Scotland Act 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||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||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.
Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance. It also includes the freedom to change one's religion or beliefs.
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 and to disestablishment, the changing of an existing, formal relationship between the church and the state.
Laïcité, literally "secularity", is a French concept of secularism. It discourages religious involvement in government affairs, especially religious influence in the determination of state policies; it also forbids government involvement in religious affairs, and especially prohibits government influence in the determination of religion. However, laïcité doesn't preclude a right to the free exercise of religion.
Religion in Belgium is diversified, with Christianity, in particular the Catholic Church, representing the largest community, though it has experienced a significant decline since the 1980s. However, according to the latest Eurobarometer poll carried out by the European Commission in December 2018, the number of Christians increased by 10% from 52.5% in 2009 to 62.8% in 9 years, with Roman Catholicism being the largest denomination at 57.1%. Protestants comprised 2.3% and Orthodox Christians comprised 0.6%. Non religious people comprised 29.3% of the population and were divided between those who primarily identified as atheists (9.1%) or as agnostics (20.2%). A further 6.8% of the population was Muslim and 1.1% were believers in other religions. Belgium's policy separates the state from the churches, and freedom of religion of the citizens is guaranteed by the country's constitution.
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.
Religion in Norway is mostly Lutheran Christianity, with 71.5% of the population belonging to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway in 2016. The Catholic Church is the next largest Christian church at 2.9%. The unaffiliated make up 16.8% of the population. Islam is followed by 2.9% of the population.
Freedom of religion in the Philippines is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Philippines.
The Constitution of the People's Republic of Bangladesh is the constitutional document of Bangladesh. It was adopted on 4 November 1972 and effective from 16 December 1972. It provides the framework of the Bangladeshi republic with a parliamentary government, fundamental human rights and freedoms, an independent judiciary, democratic local government and a national bureaucracy. The constitution includes references to socialism, Islam, secular democracy and the Bengali language. It commits Bangladesh to “contribute to international peace and co-operation in keeping with the progressive aspirations of mankind”. The constitution has several controversial elements like Article 70.
Freedom of religion in Sri Lanka is a protected right under Chapter II, Article 9 of the constitution of Sri Lanka. This applies to all religions, though Buddhism is given primary protection as the state religion. Buddhism was given the foremost place by President J. R. Jayawardene in 1978, though Sri Lanka is regarded by its Supreme Court as being a secular country.
Freedom of religion in Colombia is enforced by the State and well tolerated in the Colombian culture. The Republic of Colombia has an area of 439,735 square miles and its population is estimated at 46 million. Although the Government does not keep official statistics on religious affiliation, a 2001 poll commissioned by the country's leading newspaper, El Tiempo, indicated that the religious demography is as follows:
Religion in Sweden is diversified. Christianity was the religion of virtually all of the Swedish population from the 12th to the early 20th century, but it has rapidly declined throughout the late 20th and early 21st century. In 2015, legally registered Christians comprised 69.9% of the total population.
Freedom of religion in South Korea is provided for in the South Korean constitution. The South Korean government has generally respected this right in practice, although it provides no exemption or alternative civilian service for those who have a religious objection to serve in the armed forces.
Christianity is the largest religion in Costa Rica, with Roman Catholics having the most adherents. Roman Catholicism is the state religion, and the government generally upholds people's religious freedom in practice.
Christianity is the predominant religion in Slovakia. The majority (62%) of Slovaks belong to the Latin Church of Catholicism; with the addition of a further 4% of Greek (Byzantine) Catholics, all Catholics account for 66%. Members of a Protestant denomination, mainly Lutheran or Reformed, account for 9%. Members of other churches, including those non-registered, account for 1.1% of the population. The Eastern Orthodox Christians are mostly found in Ruthenian (Rusyns) areas. The Roman Catholic Church divides the country into 8 dioceses including 3 archdioceses in two different provinces. The Slovak Greek Catholic Church is a Metropolitan sui iuris Church with three Eparchies in Slovakia and one in Canada. Generally about one third of church members regularly attend church services.
Christianity is the predominant religion in Honduras, representing 76% of the total population according to a 2017 estimate. The pre-Hispanic peoples that lived in actual Honduras were primarily polytheistic Maya and other native groups. In the 16th century, Roman Catholicism was introduced by the Spanish Empire.
A Christian state is a country that recognizes a form of Christianity as its official religion and often has a state church, which is a Christian denomination that supports the government and is supported by the government.
The status of religious freedom in Africa 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, 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.
The status of religious freedom in Asia 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, 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.
The status of religious freedom in Europe 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, 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.
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.
No religion shall have a state character. The public authorities shall take into account the religious beliefs of Spanish society and shall consequently maintain appropriate cooperation relations with the Catholic Church and other confessions