|Part of a series on|
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, 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 concordatory 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.[ 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 in 1920), and the Church of England itself (which remains established).
Governments where Buddhism, either a specific form of it, or Buddhism as a whole, has been established as an official religion:
In some countries, Buddhism is not recognized as a state religion, but holds special status:
The following states recognize some form of Christianity as their state or official religion (by denomination):
Jurisdictions where 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 following states recognize some form of Protestantism as their state or official 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.
In respect of documents transferred in accordance with Articles 12 to 16, the Church of Sweden and any part of its organisation shall be equated with a public authority.
It may also be laid down in law that the Government may determine that official documents may be transferred to the Church of Sweden, or any part of its organisation, for safekeeping, without the documents ceasing thereby to be official. This applies to documents received or drawn up no later than 31 December 1999 by: 1. public authorities which no longer exist and which performed tasks relating to the activities of the Church of Sweden; or 2. decision-making assemblies of the Church of Sweden.
In respect of documents transferred in accordance with Articles 12 to 16, the Church of Sweden and any part of its organisation shall be equated with a public authority.— Article 17, Swedish Constitution
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 in such states.
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 floundered 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 that the principle of separation of church and state conflicted with the practice of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 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||?|
|Finnish Orthodox Church||Eastern Orthodox||?|
|France||Cult of Reason||N/A||1794 (established 1793)|
|Cult of the Supreme Being||N/A||1794, officially banned in 1802|
|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|
|Hawaii||Church of Hawaii||Anglican||1893|
|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 or religious liberty 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 and to be absent of any religious 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 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. Although the concept is older, the exact phrase "separation of church and state" is derived from "wall of separation between church and state", a term coined by Thomas Jefferson.
Secularism is a constitutional principle of France. Article 1 of the French Constitution is commonly interpreted as discouraging 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. Secularism in France does not 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 Eurobarometer poll carried out by the European Commission in December 2018, the share of Christians increased by 10% points 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. On the other hand, the following Eurobarometer's survey done in May and published in September 2019 showed Christians decreased from 62.8% in 2018 to around 60% in 2019, with Catholics at 54%, Orthodox Christian 1%, Protestant 3%, other Christian 2%, Muslim-Shia 2%, Muslim-Sunni 2%, other Muslim 1%, Atheists 10%, non believers or Agnostics 21%, and other Religions 4%.
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 claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion, and claims to avoid preferential treatment for a citizen based on their religious beliefs, affiliation or lack of either over those with other profiles.
Freedom of religion in the Philippines is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Philippines.
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.
A Christian republic is a government that is both Christian and republican. Jean-Jacques Rousseau and John Locke considered the idea to be an impossibility and a self-contradiction, but for different reasons. As of the 21st century, the only countries in the world with a republican form of government and with Christianity as the established religion are Argentina, Costa Rica, Finland, Greece, Armenia, Samoa, Iceland, and Malta. Some other republics, such as Georgia, Peru, Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador, and Paraguay, give some credit or preference to Christianity, but without establishing it as the religion of the state. Others, such as Hungary, and Zambia, describe themselves as Christian countries.
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.
Religion in Eritrea mainly consists of Abrahamic faiths. Since May 2002, the Eritrean government has officially recognized the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Eritrean Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Eritrea, and Sunni Islam. All other faiths and denominations are in principle required to undergo a registration process; in practice they are not allowed to register. Among other things, the government's registration system requires religious groups to submit personal information on their membership to be allowed to worship.
Christianity is the largest religion in Costa Rica, with Roman Catholics having the most adherents. Roman Catholicism is the state religion, but the government generally upholds people's religious freedom in practice.
A national church is a Christian church associated with a specific ethnic group or nation state. The idea was notably discussed during the 19th century, during the emergence of modern nationalism.
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.
Freedom of religion in Montenegro refers to the extent to which people in Montenegro are freely able to practice their religious beliefs, taking into account both government policies and societal attitudes toward religious groups. Montenegro's laws guarantee the freedom of religion and outlaw several forms of religious discrimination, as well as establishing that there is no state religion in Montenegro. The government provides some funding to religious groups.
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 article 75 of the Constitution of Costa Rica establishes Catholicism as the country's state religion making Costa Rica the only state in the Americas to do so. Current debate about the issue and the passing toward a full secular state are in the public and political debate. This article is also the only one in the Title VI, only chapter of the Constitution dealing with religion.
Article 9: The State respects and protects all lawful activities of Buddhists and of followers of other religions, [and] mobilises and encourages Buddhist monks and novices as well as the priests of other religions to participate in activities that are beneficial to the country and people.
... guarantees the Roman Catholic Church free and public exercise of its activities and the preservation of the relations of special co-operation with the state in accordance with the Andorran tradition. The Constitution recognizes the full legal capacity of the bodies of the Roman Catholic Church which have legal status in accordance with their own rules.
The juridical personality of the Catholic Church is recognized. The other churches, cults, entities, and associations of religious character will obtain the recognition of their juridical personality in accordance with the rules of their institution[,] and the Government may not deny it[,] aside from reasons of public order. The State will extend to the Catholic Church, without any cost, [the] titles of ownership of the real assets which it holds peacefully for its own purposes, as long as they have formed part of the patrimony of the Catholic Church in the past. The property assigned to third parties or those
The State and the Catholic Church are independent and sovereign, each within its own sphere. Their relations are regulated by the Lateran pacts. Amendments to such Pacts which are accepted by both parties shall not require the procedure of constitutional amendments.
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.
Both as a state church and as a national church, the Orthodox Church of Greece has a lot in common with Protestant state churches, and even with Catholicism in some countries.
Greece therefore is today the only country where the Orthodox Church remains a state church and plays a dominant role in the life of the country.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church shall be the Established Church of Denmark, and, as such, it shall be supported by the State.
The Sabbath Day shall be kept holy in Tonga and no person shall practise his trade or profession or conduct any commercial undertaking on the Sabbath Day except according to law; and any agreement made or witnessed on that day shall be null and void and of no legal effect.
the Russian Orthodox Church has become de facto state Church
'It is only natural there has been a surge in interest in religion over the past decade, given the repression that went before,' Levinson said. 'But we are particularly concerned about the growing influence of the Russian Orthodox Church—which has become the de facto state religion—to the exclusion of all other convictions.'
Just as the government has tightened control over political life, so, too, has it intruded in matters of faith. The Kremlin’s surrogates in many areas have turned the Russian Orthodox Church into a de facto official religion