A state religion (also called an established religion, state church, established church, 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.
The term state church is associated with Christianity, historically the state church of the Roman Empire, and is sometimes used to denote a specific modern national branch of Christianity. Closely related to state churches are what sociologists call ecclesiae, though the two are slightly different.
State religions are official or government-sanctioned establishments of a religion, but neither does the state need be under the control of the church (as in a theocracy), nor is the state-sanctioned church necessarily under the control of the state.
The institution of state-sponsored religious cults is ancient, 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 AD.
- 1 Types of state religion
- 2 Current state religions
- 2.1 Christian countries
- 2.2 Muslim countries
- 2.3 Buddhist countries
- 2.4 Israel
- 3 Former state religions
- 3.1 Ancient
- 3.2 Modern era
- 4 States without a state religion
- 5 Established churches and former state churches
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
Types of state religion
The degree and nature of state backing for denomination or creed designated as a state religion can vary. It can range from mere endorsement and 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 on earth 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's 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 seven state churches left, as most countries which 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. Opponents of disestablishment are known as antidisestablishmentarians.
Current state religions
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:
- Costa Rica
- Vatican City (theocracy)
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador,
- Paraguay, Peru,
The above listed countries also give constitutional privileges to Catholicism without necessarily referring to it as the state religion.
Jurisdictions where one of the Eastern Orthodox Churches has been established as a state religion:
- Greece: Church of Greece
- Mount Athos (officially the 'Autonomous Monastic State of the Holy Mountain')
- Georgia: Georgian Orthodox Church (See Concordat of 2002)
The Finnish Orthodox Church is not the state religion of Finland but has a special relationship with the Finnish state. The internal structure of the church is described in the Orthodox Church Act. The church has a power to tax its members, and receives a share of corporate tax revenue of the state. The church does not consider itself a state church, as the state does not have the authority to affect its internal workings or theology.
Jurisdictions where a Lutheran church has been established as a state religion include the Nordic countries. Membership is very high among the general population, however the amount of actively participating members and believers is considerably lower than in many other countries with similar membership statistics. Furthermore, all of these churches have lately seen decline in the percentage of the population being members.
- Denmark (Church of Denmark) Also the Church of the Faroe Islands is the state church of the Faroe Islands, a territory of Denmark.
- Iceland (Church of Iceland) (76.81% of population members at 1 January 2012) 
- Norway (Church of Norway)
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland has a special relationship with the Finnish state, its internal structure being described in a special law, the Church Act. The Church Act can be amended only by a decision of the synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and subsequent ratification by the Parliament of Finland. The Church Act is protected by the Finnish Constitution and the state can not change the Church Act without changing the constitution. The church has a power to tax its members and all corporations unless a majority of shareholders are members of the Finnish Orthodox Church. The state collects these taxes for the church, for a fee. On the other hand, the church is required to give a burial place for everyone in its graveyards. (77.2% of population members at the end of 2011). The President of the Republic of Finland also decides the themes for intercession days. The church does not consider itself a state church, as the Finnish state does not have the power to influence its internal workings or its theology, although it has a veto in those changes of the internal structure which require changing the Church Act. Neither does the Finnish state accord any precedence to Lutherans or the Lutheran faith in its own acts.
Sweden relegated their state church, Church of Sweden, to a national church in 2000. In late 2011 the Church of Sweden had 68.8% of the population as its members although only around 20% of the Swedish population believes in any religion. Memberships are high because until 1996 membership was automatic for children of members. Since 1996, baptism is the basis for membership.
Jurisdictions where a Reformed church has been established as a state religion:
The Church of Scotland is recognized as the national church of Scotland, but is not a state church and thus differs from the Church of England. Its constitution, which is recognised by acts of the British Parliament, gives it complete independence from the state in spiritual matters.
At the cantonal state level in Switzerland, of 26 Swiss cantons, 24 give official recognition to both the Roman Catholic Church and the Swiss Reformed Church. The Cantons of Geneva and Neuchâtel have no state recognized church. At the federal state level, Switzerland has no official religion.
Jurisdictions where an Anglican church has been established as a state religion:
The Church of England is the officially established religious institution  in England, and also the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. It is the only established Anglican Church. The British monarch is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England and is Defender of the Faith. In 19th century England there was a campaign by Liberals, dissenters and nonconformists to disestablish the Church of England, even when most of its privileges had been removed by Parliament. The campaigners styled themselves "Liberationists" (the "Liberation Society" was founded by Edward Miall in 1853). Though their campaign failed, nearly all of the legal disabilities of nonconformists were gradually dismantled. The campaign for disestablishment was revived in the 20th century when Parliament rejected the 1929 revision of the Book of Common Prayer, leading to calls for separation of Church and State to prevent political interference in matters of worship.
Lords Spiritual, who are the 26 most senior Archbishops and Bishops in the Church are reserved seats in Parliament in the House of Lords. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York, Bishop of London, Bishop of Durham, and the Bishop of Winchester sit automatically with the 21 longest-serving Bishops.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2012)|
- Bangladesh (Section 2A of the 1972 constitution specifies, "The state religion of the Republic is Islam, but other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony in the Republic.")
Mixed Shia and Sunni
Governments where Buddhism, either a specific form of, or the whole, has been established as an official religion:
Likewise, in Thailand, the 2007 Thai constitution recognized Buddhism as "the religion of Thai tradition with the most adherents". However, it is not formally identified as a 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 both 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 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. 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 is a vestige of the Ottoman period during which Islam was the dominant religion and does not affect the rights of the Muslim community to practice their faith. At the end of the period covered by this 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 of 2011[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.
- Indonesia does not declare or designate a state religion. However, the government does only recognize 6 religions: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism. The Constitution of Indonesia guarantees the freedom of religion and the practice of other religions and beliefs, including the animistic indigenous ones, is not prohibited by any laws. Atheism or agnosticism, although not prosecuted, is discouraged by the state ideology of Pancasila. In addition, the province of Aceh receives a special status and a higher degree of autonomy, in which it may enact laws (qanuns) based on the Sharia and enforce it, especially to its Muslim residents.
- Nepal was once the world's only Hindu state, but has ceased to be so following a declaration by the Parliament in 2006.
- Many countries indirectly fund the activities of different religious denominations by granting tax-exempt status to churches and religious institutions which qualify as charitable organizations. However, these religions are not established as state religions.
Former state religions
Egypt and Sumer
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 forces of Islam. 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 AD.
Many of the Greek city-states also had a god or goddess associated with that city. This would not be its only god/dess, 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.
Roman religion and Christianity
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 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.
Han Dynasty Confucianism
In China, the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) 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.
Empire of Japan
From the Meiji era to the first part of the Showa era, Koshitsu Shinto was established in Japan as the national religion. According to this, the Emperor of Japan was an arahitogami, an incarnate divinity and the offspring of goddess Amaterasu. As the Emperor was, according to the constitution, "head of the empire" and "supreme commander of the Army and the Navy", every Japanese citizen had to obey his will and show absolute loyalty.
Former state churches in British North America
- The colonies of Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay, New Haven, and New Hampshire were founded by Puritan Calvinist Protestants.
- The colonies of New York, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia were officially Church of England.
- The Colony of Maryland was founded by a charter granted in 1632 to George Calvert, secretary of state to Charles I, and his son Cecil, both recent converts to Roman Catholicism. Under their leadership many English Catholic gentry families settled in Maryland. However, the colonial government was officially neutral in religious affairs, granting toleration to all Christian groups and enjoining them to avoid actions which antagonized the others. On several occasions, low-church dissenters led insurrections which temporarily overthrew the Calvert rule. In 1689, when William and Mary came to the English throne, they acceded to demands to revoke the original royal charter. In 1701, the Church of England was proclaimed, and in the course of the 18th century Maryland Catholics were first barred from public office, then disenfranchised, although not all of the laws passed against them (notably laws restricting property rights and imposing penalties for sending children to be educated in foreign Catholic institutions) were enforced, and some Catholics even continued to hold public office.
- When New France was transferred to Great Britain in 1763, the Roman Catholic Church remained under toleration, but Huguenots were allowed entrance where they had formerly been banned from settlement by Parisian authorities.
- Spanish Florida was ceded to Great Britain in 1763, the British divided Florida into two colonies. Both East and West Florida continued a policy of toleration for the Catholic Residents.
Colonies with no established church
- The Province of Pennsylvania was founded by Quakers, but the colony never had an established church.
- The Province of New Jersey, without official religion, had a significant Quaker lobby, but Calvinists of all types also had a presence.
- Delaware Colony had no established church, but was contested between Catholics and Quakers.
- The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, founded by religious dissenters forced to flee the Massachusetts Bay colony, is widely regarded as the first polity to grant religious freedom to all its citizens, although Catholics were barred intermittently. Baptists, Seekers/Quakers and Jews made this colony their home.
|Georgia||Church of England||1789[note 2]|
|Maryland||Church of England||1776|
|New Brunswick||Church of England|
|New Hampshire||Congregational||1790[note 4]|
|Newfoundland||Church of England|
|North Carolina||Church of England||The North Carolina Constitution of 1776 disestablished the Anglican church, but until 1835 the NC Constitution allowed only Protestants to hold public office. From 1835–1876 it allowed only Christians (including Catholics) to hold public office. Article VI, Section 8 of the current NC Constitution forbids "any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God" from holding public office. Such clauses were held by the United States Supreme Court to be unenforceable in the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins, when the court ruled unanimously that such clauses constituted a religious test incompatible with First and Fourteenth Amendment protections.|
|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 5]||1783[note 6]|
|East Florida||Church of England[note 5]||1783[note 6]|
|Virginia||Church of England||1786[note 7]|
|West Indies||Church of England||1868 (Barbados, not until 1969)|
- In several colonies, the establishment ceased to exist in practice at the Revolution, about 1776; this is the date of permanent legal abolition.
- In 1789 the Georgia Constitution was amended as follows: "Article IV. Section 10. No person within this state shall, upon any pretense, be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping God in any manner agreeable to his own conscience, nor be compelled to attend any place of worship contrary to his own faith and judgment; nor shall he ever be obliged to pay tithes, taxes, or any other rate, for the building or repairing any place of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry, contrary to what he believes to be right, or hath voluntarily engaged. To do. No one religious society shall ever be established in this state, in preference to another; nor shall any person be denied the enjoyment of any civil right merely on account of his religious principles."
- From 1780 Massachusetts had a system which required every man to belong to a church, and permitted each church to tax its members, but forbade any law requiring that it be of any particular denomination. This was objected to, as in practice establishing the Congregational Church, the majority denomination, and was abolished in 1833.
- Until 1877 the New Hampshire Constitution required members of the State legislature to be of the Protestant religion.
- Religious tolerance for Catholics with an established Church of England was policy in the former Spanish Colonies of East and West Florida while under British rule.
- In 1783 Peace of Paris, which ended the American Revolutionary War, the British ceded both East and West Florida back to Spain (see Spanish Florida).
- Tithes for the support of the Anglican Church in Virginia were suspended in 1776, and never restored. 1786 is the date of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom, which prohibited any coercion to support any religious body.
In both cases, 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.
- New Netherland was founded by Dutch Reformed Calvinists.
- New Sweden was founded by Church of Sweden Lutherans.
State of Deseret
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.
States without a state religion
A state that does not profess a state religion is known as a secular state.
Established churches and former state churches
- Brazilian Laws - the Federal Constitution - The Organization of State. V-brazil.com. Retrieved 5 May 2012. Brazil had Roman Catholicism as the state religion from the country's independence, in 1822, until the fall of the Brazilian Empire. The new Republican government passed, in 1890, Decree 119-A "Decreto 119-A". "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.
- Finland's State Church was the Church of Sweden until 1809. As an autonomous Grand Duchy under Russia 1809–1917, Finland retained the Lutheran State Church system, and a state church separate from Sweden, later named the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, was established. It was detached from the state as a separate judicial entity when the new church law came to force in 1870. After Finland had gained independence in 1917, religious freedom was declared in the constitution of 1919 and a separate law on religious freedom in 1922. Through this arrangement, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland lost its position as a state church but gained a constitutional status as a national church alongside with the Finnish Orthodox Church, whose position however is not codified in the constitution.
- In France the Concordat of 1801 made the Roman Catholic, Calvinist and Lutheran churches state-sponsored religions, as well as Judaism.
- In Hungary the constitutional laws of 1848 declared five established churches on equal status: the Roman Catholic, Calvinist, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox and Unitarian Church. In 1868 the law was ratified again after the Ausgleich. In 1895 Judaism was also recognized as the sixth established church. In 1948 every distinction between the different denominations were abolished.
- The whole of the island of Ireland was merged with Great Britain to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801, the Church of England and the Church of Ireland were merged to form the United Church of England and Ireland. The church was disestablished in Ireland in 1871, and returned to being the Church of Ireland. In 1922, the island of Ireland was partitioned into the predominantly Protestant Northern Ireland, which remained part of the United Kingdom, and an independent, predominantly Roman Catholic, Irish Free State. The 1937 Constitution of Ireland prohibited the state from endorsing any Christian denomination as an established church. However, the constitution recognized the "special position" of the Roman Catholic Church "as the guardian of the Faith professed by the great majority of the citizens". It also recognized "the Church of Ireland, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the Methodist Church in Ireland, the Religious Society of Friends in Ireland, as well as the Jewish Congregations and the other religious denominations existing in Ireland at the date of the coming into operation of this Constitution". These provisions were removed by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland in 1973.
- The Philippines was among several possessions ceded by Spain to the United States in 1898; religious freedom was subsequently guaranteed in the archipelago. This was codified in the Philippine Organic Act (1902), section 5: "... That no law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and that the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed." A similarly-worded provision still exists in the present Constitution; Catholicism remains the predominant religion in the country, wielding considerable political and cultural influence.
- Article 25 of the constitution states: "1. Churches and other religious organizations shall have equal rights. 2. Public authorities in the Republic of Poland shall be impartial in matters of personal conviction". Article 114 of the Polish March Constitution of 1921 declared the Roman Catholic Church to hold "the principal position among religious denominations equal before the law" (in reference to the idea of first among equals). The article was continued in force by article 81 of the April Constitution of 1935. The Soviet-backed PKWN Manifesto of 1944 reintroduced the March Constitution, which remained in force until it was replaced by the Small Constitution of 1947.
- The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution explicitly forbids the federal government from enacting any law respecting a religious establishment, and thus forbids either designating an official church for the United States, or interfering with State and local official churches — which were common when the First Amendment was enacted. It did not prevent state governments from establishing official churches. Connecticut continued to do so until it replaced its colonial Charter with the Connecticut Constitution of 1818; Massachusetts retained an establishment of religion in general until 1833. As of 2010[update], Article III of the Massachusetts constitution still provided, "... the legislature shall, from time to time, authorize and require, the several towns, parishes, precincts, and other bodies politic, or religious societies, to make suitable provision, at their own expense, for the institution of the public worship of God, and for the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion and morality, in all cases where such provision shall not be made voluntarily." The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1868, makes no mention of religious establishment, but forbids the states to "abridge the privileges or immunities" of U.S. citizens, or to "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law". In the 1947 case of Everson v. Board of Education, the United States Supreme Court held that this later provision incorporates the First Amendment's Establishment Clause as applying to the States, and thereby prohibits state and local religious establishments. The exact boundaries of this prohibition are still disputed, and are a frequent source of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court — especially as the Court must now balance, on a state level, the First Amendment prohibitions on government establishment of official religions with the First Amendment prohibitions on government interference with the free exercise of religion. See school prayer for such a controversy in contemporary American politics. All current State constitutions do mention a Creator, but include guarantees of religious liberty parallel to the First Amendment. The constitutions of eight states (Arkansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas) also contain clauses that prohibit atheists from holding public office. However, these clauses were held by the U.S. Supreme Court to be unenforceable in the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins, where the court ruled unanimously that such clauses constituted a religious test incompatible with the religious test prohibition in Article 6 Section 3 of the United States Constitution. The Church of Hawaii was the state church of Hawaii from 1862-1893.
- The Church in Wales was split from the Church of England in 1920 by Welsh Church Act 1914; at the same time becoming disestablished.
- List of state-established religions
- Civil religion
- Political religion
- Separation of church and state
- Freedom of religion
- Status of religious freedom by country
- Religious toleration
- Secular state
- Secular religion
- The Journal of Ecclesiastical History – Page 268 by Cambridge University Press, Gale Group, C.W. Dugmore
- The headship was administrative and jurisdictional but did not include the potestas ordinis (the right to preach, ordain, administer the sacraments and rites of the Church which were reserved to the clergy) –Bray, Gerald. Documents of the English Reformation James Clarke & Cº(1994), p.114
- Neill, Stephen. Anglicanism Penguin (1960), p.61
- The concerned religious communities are the dioceses of Metz and of Strasbourg, the Lutheran EPCAAL and the Reformed EPRAL and the three Israelite consistories in Colmar, Metz and Strasbourg.
- Preable: First part, section 2
- The Constitution of Costa Rica, TITLE VI: RELIGION, CostaRicaLaw.com.
- Constitution Religion (archived from the original on 2009-03-26).
- "Constitution of Malta (Article 2)". mjha.gov.mt.
- CONSTITUTION DE LA PRINCIPAUTE (French): Art. 9., Principaute De Monaco: Ministère d'Etat (archived from the original on 2011-09-27).
- "The Constitution of the Italian Republic". "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. [...] Denominations other than Catholicism have the right to self-organisation according to their own statutes, provided these do not conflict with Italian law. Their relations with the State are regulated by law, based on agreements with their respective representatives."
- "Constitution of the Republic of Paraguay". "The role played by the Catholic Church in the historical and cultural formation of the Republic is hereby recognized."
- "Constitution of the Republic of Peru". "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 Constitution of the Republic of Poland". 1997-04-02. "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."
- "Spanish , ,Constitution". "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."
- THE CONSTITUTION OF GREECE : SECTION II RELATIONS OF CHURCH AND STATE, Hellenic Resources network.
- Constitution of Georgia Paragraph 9
- Finland – Constitution, Section 76 The Church Act, http://servat.unibe.ch/icl/fi00000_.html.
- OKM – Legislation, financing and administration, Church Affairs, Ministry of Education and Culture , http://www.minedu.fi/OPM/Kirkollisasiat/lait_ja_maeaeraeykset/?lang=en.
- Denmark – Constitution: Section 4 State Church, International Constitutional Law.
- Constitution of the Republic of Iceland: Article 62, Government of Iceland.
- "Statistics Iceland - Statistics » Population » Religious organisations". Statice.is. 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
- Løsere bånd, men fortsatt statskirke, ABC Nyheter
- Staten skal ikke lenger ansette biskoper, NRK
- Slik blir den nye statskirkeordningen
- "Status of the Finnish State Church in 2007—Privileges of the State Church". eroakirkosta.fi. 7 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-23.
- 77.2 percent of Finns belong to the Lutheran church evl.fi 10.2.2012
- "Medlemmar 1972-2008, tabell och diagram" (XLS, 22.5 KiB) (in Swedish). Svenska kyrkan.
- Despite some official documentation (marriage registrations being a common example) describing the Church of Scotland as the "Established Church" the Kirk has always disclaimed that status.[dubious ] This was eventually acknowledged by the United Kingdom government within the Church of Scotland Act 1921. Since it has thus never been legally established it cannot be disestablished.
- "The History of the Church of England". The Archbishops' Council of the Church of England. Retrieved 2006-05-24.
- "THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF BANGLADESH (As modified up to 17 May, 2004)". parliament.gov.bd. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06.
- "International Religious Freedom Report for 2012 - Djibouti". Retrieved October 5, 2013.
- "Part I: "Introductory"". Pakistani.org. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
- "Palestinian Basic Law (May 29, 2002)". Jewish Virtual Library.
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- Article 3, Spiritual Heritage
- Buddhism is the spiritual heritage of Bhutan, which promotes the principles and values of peace, non-violence, compassion and tolerance.
- The Druk Gyalpo is the protector of all religions in Bhutan.
- It shall be the responsibility of religious institutions and personalities to promote the spiritual heritage of the country while also ensuring that religion remains separate from politics in Bhutan. Religious institutions and personalities shall remain above politics.
- The Druk Gyalpo shall, on the recommendation of the Five Lopons, appoint a learned and respected monk ordained in accordance with the Druk-lu, blessed with the nine qualities of a spiritual master and accomplished in ked-dzog, as the Je Khenpo.
- His Holiness the Je Khenpo shall, on the recommendation of the Dratshang Lhentshog, appoint monks blessed with the nine qualities of a spiritual master and accomplished in ked-dzog as the Five Lopons.
- The members of the Dratshang Lhentshog shall comprise:
(a) The Je Khenpo as Chairman;
(b) The Five Lopons of the Zhung Dratshang; and
(c) The Secretary of the Dratshang Lhentshog who is a civil servant.
- The Zhung Dratshang and Rabdeys shall continue to receive adequate funds and other facilities from the State.
- Article 3, Spiritual Heritage
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- The modern Church of Scotland has always disclaimed recognition as an "established" church. The Church of Scotland Act 1921 formally recognised the Kirk's independence from the state.
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