Talk:State religion

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Greece has no state religion[edit]

Orthodox christianity is described by the Greek constitution as the dominant/prevailing religion, because at least nominally the great majority of Greeks belong to this. Nevertheless it is NOT the state religion, Greece has no such thing as state religion whatsoever. This should be made clear in the page.

XVA 23:57, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

-- 12:11, 26 January 2007 (UTC) This page should be merged with State church. - Efghij 03:14, 1 Sep 2003 (UTC)

This page has repeats entire sections several times. This needs to be fixed

This isn't true at all. China has a set of official state religious organizations. Trying to worship outside the state organizations will bring various degrees of official disapproval ranging from tolerance (in the case of a lot of Buddhist monasteries, Islamic temples, and local folk deities) to moderate harrassment (in the case of Protestant house churches and Vatican sponsored Catholicism) to totally state opposition (in the case of Falugong).

This page defines a state religion as "state religion (also called an established church or state church) is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state", therefore atheism is the state religion of china, cuba etc, and juche can probably be classified as the state religion of North Korea. - Unsigned

The section on the US does not seem to me to be NPOV. --ukexpat 13:30, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

I looked, and did not see any section on the US in the article. There is a bit of info about the US in the section on Disestablishment, and the info presented there seems NPOV to me. -- Boracay Bill 23:50, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Nations which recognize Atheism as their official religion:[edit]

There is no reference under France to the special status of Guyana where the Catholic Church (please avoid the term 'catholicism') is the official religion or to the more important exception constituted by the two Alsace departements and that of Moselle where 4 religious bodies hold official status. Belgium similarly accords official status to 6 religious bodies.

  • [[China]

Roadrunner 20:27, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)

In order for a Territory to become a State, that Territory must accept the United States Constitution as "ruling law of the land." The State must, then, create, and pass, it's own Constitution in order to govern itself, but that law must always be subservient to the United States Constitution. No law passed by a State may supercede that body of law. Therefore, after 1789, no state could establish a State Church. Davjohn 03:52, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

This is just wrong. The First Amendment says *Congress* shall pass no law, and there are a series of pre-Civil War Supreme Court decisions that explicitly limited the first amendment rule on establishment to Federal actions. Things changed with the 14th amendment.

Civic Religions[edit]

I have created a page on Civic religions (which are associated with dictatorships, and are not religions in the sense of Christianity or Islam). Please look at it, and help make improvements, if you would, it is not yet finished, but I do not know where else to drum up interest than here.

Colonial Errors[edit]

This article is extremely careless in attributing extablished demoninations to the American colonies. No establishment ever took place in NJ, and William Penn's charter expressed prohibited an establishment in Pennsylvania.

Nor was Catholicism established anywhere in the British Empire after Bloody Mary's reign. It was tolerated in Maryland and Quebec, but that is not the same thing.

Other corrections should be made as appropriate.Septentrionalis 22:58, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)


This article said that Catholicism is Spain's state church, and I know that Spaniards may choose to pay church tithes on their tax forms. However, article 16(3) of the Constitution of Spain says,

No religion shall have a state character. The public powers shall take into account the religious beliefs of Spanish society and maintain the appropriate relations of cooperation, with the Catholic Church and other denominations.

- Montréalais 01:40, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

That's an establishment where I come from; but a footnote might be enough.Septentrionalis 23:19, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

- No. In Germany, there is no established church, but the government collects taxes for certain churches, namely, I think, the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran and Reformed churches of the Evangelical Church in Germany, and the Old Catholic Church. Carolynparrishfan 17:52, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

That's right; you have to declare yourself outside of these churches if you were baptized in them, in order to cease paying such taxes. Eugene-elgato (talk) 18:53, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

Category:State churches (Christian)[edit]

I have created the Category:State churches (Christian) for Christian state (established) churches. If anyone thinks this ought be be renamed, perhaps we could discuss it here--or likewise if anyone wants to support it. Should we create corresponding categories for other religions (Islam, Buddhism, etc.)? Frankly they are not precisely the same...and state Catholicism is problematic as well. Should all state religions be integrated into one category? Thanks. --Dpr 02:45, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

I think Category:State churches is sufficiently disambiguated; the state religion of (say) Saudi Arabia is certainly not a church. However, an all-inclusive Category:State religions should be about right for a good cat, and avoid the problem entirely. Septentrionalis 17:10, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. Dump the christian bit at the end. shauntp 06:57, 22 March 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Shauntp (talkcontribs)

"None since independence"[edit]

For those countries who are designated with "none since independence", is the early 1990s independence from the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, or Czechoslovakia what is intended? I ask because, in reality they should be designated as "none since 19xx" where 19xx is the date of communist takeover, when any existing state churches would have been disestablished? Is this not more or less correct? Thanks --Dpr 07:55, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Islam and Sunni Islam[edit]

I think this bit needs to be cleared up, for example, Saudi Arabia is under Islam not Sunni Islam when it actually accepts Sunni Islam as the state religion, I'm going to change that one and I think someones needs to carefully look at the others. Maybe divide them all into Sunni, Shia or both.

Malaysia is Sunni[edit]

Government officials have openly declared that Shiite Islam is not allowed to be preached to Malaysians. Until I left Malaysia, I had thought there was only one denomination of Islam because the only denomination allowed to be preaeched here is Sunni Islam. I changed the text entries but don't know how to change the graphical map. (I don't know how to upload the new map showing Malaysia as Sunni.)

Russian state religion[edit]

I'm doubting this claim quite a lot: The Russian Federation recognizes the Russian Orthodox Church, the main sub-branch of the greater Eastern Orthodox Church, as well as Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam as all "official" and "indigenous" to Russian soil.

The reason for this is because I don't think it belongs in that section. That section lists countries where a certain church is established and official. In Russia, no church is established or official. There is a significant difference between establishment and governmental recognition. Some governments recognise certain religions as being indigenous to a country, or having a significant amount of members, and hence these churches receive the right to form their own schools, to get government funding (in the same way cultural institutions do), etc. But that doesn't mean that every one of those churches is a "state religion". State religion implies a deeper sense of connection between the state and religion, and I think Russia, while not fully secular, is pretty much without a state religion, the Russian Orthodox Church being disestablished in 1917. Ronline 13:10, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

North Korea?[edit]

This may sound a bit nutty, but people have described the idea of 'Juche' to be North Koreas state religion (although being a communist country it is nominally atheist). Given that all subjects of North Korea are compelled to follow this belief system, there are more people in this pseudo-religion than there are Jews and Sikhs in the world, and both these are considered world religions. Should This be mentioned in the article? Damburger 11:15, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Georgia's state religion[edit]

Hi. A user has recently added Georgia in the list of states with the Eastern Orthodox Church as their state religion. I have removed this, since Georgia does not have any official state religion - rather the Orthodox Church is separated from the state and is not mentioned as "official religion", but simply as having a special contribution to the foundation of the country. The constitution of Georgia states, "The state recognises the special importance of the Georgian Orthodox Church in Georgian history but simultaneously announces complete freedom in religious belief and the independence of the church from the state." Therefore, the GOC is not a state religion (i.e. it is neither influenced by the state nor established as the "national religion of Georgia"). Thanks, Flag of Europe.svgFlag of Romania.svg Ronline 08:34, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

The Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church is the only religious organisation in Georgia recognised by the state. All others including the Catholic Church have to pay taxes. The Partiarch issues the blessing to the whole parlament after elections including the deputies who are not member of the Georgian Orthodox Church. So it is de-facto an established church. Ulf-S. 11:39, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

A "state religion" doesn't just mean where the church is influenced by the state. It can also mean where the state is influenced by the Church. What you quoted in the Constitution there seems to say that the state has no influence over the Church. It doesn't say the Church has no influence over the state; apparently it does, and no other church does. So this is more of a state religion than most. It should be re-added. You also need sources for the other countries you removed. (Myanmar, Nepal, Azerbaijan) as I'm sure they were originally added with good reason. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 13:47, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

If the Constitution of Nepal declare Nepal to be a "Hindu Kingdom", how much more clearly does it have to be spelled out for you? It should be re-added. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 13:50, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
I think the notion of a state religion is very subtle and complex, and due to this there are bound to be controversies, particularly over interpretation. But I'll outline my case regarding the following countries:
  • Georgia - the constitution states that church is independent from the state, and that there is complete freedom of religion. Additionally, no mention is made of the GOC being the official/national/state religion of the republic. I suppose that the elements outlined by Ulf S above make it a de-facto state religion, and it would be good if this is mentioned. I've got to do more research on this, it is still "in flux". UPDATE: According to [1], the GOC does receive a number of benefits not offered to other churches, even though, recently, other religious groups are allowed to register officially. I believe this is reasonable grounds to include Georgia as de-facto Orthodox, making a mention of how the GOC received numerous benefits over other churches in practice, despite the fact that it is not explicitly mentioned as the state religion.
  • Nepal - I didn't remove Nepal, I just explained that the case is more complex than just listing Nepal under a bullet point. There are no countries of the world that have Hinduism as an established religion. Rather, Nepal recognises itself as a Hindu Kingdom (this does not mean that the Hindu faith has any influence on the state). So, I've mentioned this, as well as the fact that, officially, Nepal has no established religion.
  • Azerbaijan - this country is very secular, with its separation between church and state based on Turkey's model. The Constitution of Azerbaijan states that "religion shall be separated from the State in the Republic of Azerbaijan. All religions shall be equal by law. The spread and propaganda of religions which humiliate human dignity and contradict the principles of humanity shall be banned. The State education system shall be of secular character." So, there is no mention of any particular religion, while secularism is mentione as a principle. That is why Azerbaijan should be listed as officially-secular.
  • Myanmar - According to [2], "There is no official state religion; however, in practice the Government continued to show a preference for Theravada Buddhism." This is where the problem becomes subtle and controversial. If a country does not officially recognise any religion as being its state religion, but implicitly promotes one religion over the other, does this still amount to that religion being a "state religion"? I would say "No", since, for example, many countries (such as Spain and Poland), mention the contribution that a particular religion had to that country, while not necessarily having an established church (another example is Georgia, above).
Thanks, Flag of Europe.svgFlag of Romania.svg Ronline 05:48, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Canada, Australia, New Zealand[edit]

I don't believe that any of the Commonwealth Realms are officially secular. There's nothing in their constitution saying that, just that they respect freedom of religion. Homagetocatalonia 13:23, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

But do they officially have a state religion? -- Boracay Bill 14:40, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure they don't. shauntp 18:20, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

All countries with Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State (United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Belize, etc) have their head of state swear that he/she is a faithful Protestant on accession, in addition the Bill of RIghts Act 1689 and the Act of Settlement 1700 provides that they must not be a Roman Catholic (and until 2013 they could not marry a Roman Catholic). These significant legal privileges, which are not given to any other religion, amount to a state religion even where the Anglican Church is not established because (as per the definition used in this article) it is a 'creed officially endorsed by the state.' Two of the relevant countries -Canada and New Zealand still have 'Defender of the Faith' in the Queen's title in right of those countries.Aslan112 (talk) 08:43, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

State Religion and India[edit]

In the article India is in state without any Religion and treat all religion equally and hence The Prime Minister of India and Head of the Constitution the President of India greet yearly more than 24 times the citizens on various occasion of Religious Day such as Holi, Deepawali, Ede, Birth day of Religious Head, etc. Similarly Prime Minister of India and President of India visit the various Religious Places officially and same become the Press News for All citizens. I do not believe in Religion and hate the Religion. I consider the religion as myth subject. Wen the Head of the State visit religious place officially and Greet the nation on any religion day should not be kept on State without any Religion because Head of the State do this job at the cost of those who do not belive in Religion also. Since there is no article of Separation of State and religion on wikipedia, I request the reader of this talk to give any reference where I can read State and Religion. vkvora 19:42, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
The search functions powerful. User:Shauntp 06:30, 22 March 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)


"States without any state religion These states do not profess any state religion and attempt to treat all religions equally. Countries which officially decline to establish any religion include: * France * Turkey"

Both countries treat muslims badly, they ban islamic-required clotches and muslims are removed from public office if they follow Muhammad's traditions. Turkey is atheist, at least the army, which is in effective control of the ottoman county via the many coup'd etats in past decades, requires all officers to be atheists and they have oppressive state control over selection of muslim clergy, so only the neither fowl, nor fish can speak in mosques. France has the shameful headscarf law.

Therefore neither France, nor Turkey can be said to "treat all religions equally". Muslims are less than equal. the description should be changed. 14:36, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

We can't put in personal opinions. shauntp 18:19, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

  • Perhaps the 'Officially Decline' is the key phrase. Best I reacll, France has been 'Officially anti-establishment' since the Reign of Terror. The Scarves Laws are "Officially" to protect the Muslims from the locals and their anti-muslim prejudice, while giving the Muslim women the cover of 'obeying the law' when challenged by fellow Muslims. As for Turkey, the Turks I meet expalined that the 'covering up' was an Arab thing, not a Muslim thing. Again though 'Officially' is often different from 'in reality'. The United Kingdom is 'Officially' Anglican, but it is very secular country. Bo

As a trivial side issue, I'm reminded of the jokes column from an issue of The Edinburgh Courier from 1853:
Question: - Why is the King of France more powerful than the Pope?
Answer: - The Pope must govern through his Bulls, while the King of France can make a single coo dae it a'
Ha-Ha-Ha! indeed... dave souza, talk 21:54, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
France does treat all religions equally under law. The "headscarf law" is simply a law against obvious religious signs, including large Christian crosses, Jewish stars and Muslim headscarves. Muslims are not treated worse in this respect than any other religion; in fact, that law just confirms the secular nature of France and the fact that it has no established religion. Flag of Europe.svgFlag of Romania.svg Ronline 05:20, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Incorporation of the Bill of Rights in the US[edit]

The article says":"Since 1960s, the United States Supreme Court has held that this later provision incorporates the First Amendment's Establishment Clause as applying to the States" This was done in 1947 accoring to [[3]] It says: "Establishment of Religion Everson v. Board of Education (1947)" I'm changing 1960's to 1947.Gerard von Hebel 18:54, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Citations for the Theodosius edict[edit]

Sources seem to disagree on 392 v 391 as the date, most support 392.

392 sites

391 Sites

This one says two edicts issued one 391, one in 391

I hope this is how I'm to handle the 'citation' need tag.... Bo 18:41, 22 June 2006 (UTC)


Where is the year of 1929 coming from for Scotland? And surely it warrant at least a note, what with it still being the official church, if not under the control of the state. 10:00, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

The only relevance of 1929 to the Church of Scotland is that it is the year when the United Free Church merged back into it. However, this did not change it's legal status. Whilst not a "standard" established church, the Church of Scotland still *is* an Established Church. The Church of Scotland Act 1921 gave it full freedom in Spiritual issues, although it did not change its status as an national church - so it is in fact both Established and Free. As such, I've removed the date from the table. --The Thieving Gypsy 17:32, 20 August 2006 (UTC)


This needs to be cleaned up. We need to have clear criteria and citations for what is a state church -- the de facto state church of most of South America, Autria and Italy could be said to be Catholicism along the same lines of the arguments for Armenia and Georgia; and many of the mentions in Islam are also not "official religions"... Help? —Nightstallion (?) 12:44, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

There is clear criteria established in the introduction (it says, "officially endorsed"), but the list doesn't appear to follow that criteria. Therefore, any nation that does not have a de jure state church or state religion should not be included in the explicit category for state churches. I suggest that we reorganize the article with two headings: Countries with a state religion and perhaps Countries with de facto state religions, although I'm a little iffy on whether that would imply non-NPOV. ekrub-ntyh talk 18:08, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm strongly in favour of completely removing those countries who do not officially have a state religion. Everything else is WP:OR and WP:NPOV, I believe; we should also cite the respective constitutions or laws, where possible, to satisfy WP:V. —Nightstallion (?) 19:15, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Alright- I'm doing it then. ekrub-ntyh talk 19:28, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Good! :)Nightstallion (?) 05:37, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
This page needs to be completely remade to be useful. Just because a constitution mentions a particular church or religion it doesn´t mean it is the state religion. A term less ambiguous than "endorse" should be used. Probably that would mean creating different pages but I don´t see how can you put the Vatican or Iran in the same bag with Argentina or Norway. Most of the countries under "Jurisdictions which recognize Catholicism as their official religion" in fact do not do so and I don´t think this is debatable (since we are not talking about the real situation but about oficial proclamations). A quick overview for latin-american countries is here (it is in spanish, however, you can consult the articles in english at the same site)

Sri Lanka[edit]

An IP added this to the list of Buddhist countries... although I saw no evidence for this in both the Sri Lanka article and the Religion in Sri Lanka article. Anyone verify this? ekrub-ntyh talk 23:15, 31 July 2006 (UTC)


This is wrong. Established church in all colonies was Anglican, mostly just until the Revolution. It would be better to outline the quality of the church in respect to individual colonies. For instance, Massachusetts/Connecticut/New Hampshire/Vermont were all Congregational Anglicans. Nature of clerical government whether Episcopal and Arminian or Congregational and Calvinist, did not change the fact that they were all Anglican. Puritans were not Separatists, because they wanted to "Reform" the Anglican Church from within. Separatist Pilgrims founded Plymouth Colony, which was originally independent from Massachusetts on account of it being the older dominion. Where is the special case recognition of Plymouth Brownists, Rhode Island Baptists and Pennsylvania Quakers? Anglican conditions in Spanish Catholic Florida were the same for Irish Catholic Maryland. Hasbro 09:32, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

  • The conditions in Spanish Catholic Floridas were like those of French Catholic Quebec, not Maryland. The Crown made exceptions for those colonies 'added' by the fortunes of war.
  • As for the 'other special exceptions' if you have the sources be back you up. Add them, this is a wiki!
                   Bo 11:23, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Of course, in Maryland's case the Irish were not given as much leeway. Then again, provide a source to justify any comparison like the one you just wrote between the Spanish and French colonies under British dominion as somehow different from the Irish. Wikipedia and all American official state sources note the unique qualities of Pilgrims in Plymouth, Roger Williams in Rhode Island and the Quakers in Pennsylvania on unofficial colonial churches. Why are you asking for sources? That's like asking for a source to call a spade, a spade. Hasbro 11:33, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

The quoted text from the Massachusets state constitution is from a section that was redacted under an amendment. See existing reference. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dlhagerman (talkcontribs) 16:20, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Actually, I didn't intend to 'ask for the sources' but to remind you that as the wikipedia frowns on 'orginal research', one would need to be able to provide a 'relaible source' for the 'sepcial exceptions'. -- I seem to recall that Pennsylvannia was a 'Quaker state' with full religous tolerance, but as I don't have a 'source' at hand, I've not made the changes to indicate that Pennsylcvannia wasn't at least officially an establish church colony.
  • As for the comparission I made: The peace treatis of 1763 garanteed the toleration acts for the Catholics in Florida (Article XX of the Treaty of Paris, 1763) and Quebec. Maryland had no such 'external source' for its acts of tollerance. Bo 19:46, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

When status of countries in Europe or Asia changes...[edit]

...and, if it appears to be verified, I wonder if editors could also make the corresponding changes to the relevant sections of the articles Europe and Asia? Thanks! ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 18:05, 20 August 2006 (UTC)


Strangely enough, Israel appears in the list of states without any official religion. To my best knowledge, Israel has a state-controlled rabbinate, Ha-Rabanut Ha-Rashit, and there are also local state-rabbinates in each municipality. Israel has also official religious courts for personal status issues - there are Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Duruz courts for each official ly recognized religious community. drork 11:26, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

I've placed an NPOV until this matter is resolved. If the claim that "Jews" are something other than a religion then, as Wikipedia content requires, the claim must be verifiable: I ask someone to show a genetic cline or cultural symbols which are universal to all Jews and independent of their religion. lev —Preceding signed but undated comment was added at 03:01, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

It doesn't matter that there are chief rabbis, there are chief rabbis all over the world. Lots of countries have religious laws for members of religious communities in limited areas, specially in marriage, and sometimes taxes and military service. Even the UK has been contemplating allowing for fully shariah compliant courts to operate on compulsory jurisdiction for those Moslems wishing to accept the juridiction as regards marital affairs. Eugene-elgato (talk) 15:19, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Judaism is the defacto State religion of Israel even though it has not been officially declared as such:

  • Israel defines itself as a "Jewish State" (see the [Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty] and [4].
  • The national flag has a Jewish symbol.
  • The symbol of the state of Israel and also the Knesset, Israel's parliament, is a Menora. According to Wikipedia this is "one of the oldest symbols of the Jewish people". This candelabra sybolizes the one used in the Jewish temple.
  • State-run businesses (for example, public transport) observe the Jewish sabbath and do not operate on Saturdays. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Melvynadam (talkcontribs) 05:13, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Clearly the state religion of Israel is Judaism. Whomever tried to fudge this issue did a real disservice to readers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:13, 11 June 2012 (UTC)


Why isn't Finland colored on the "Nations with state religions" map. In the articel it says Finland has a state religion, but on the map it's not colored. ROOB323 04:10, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

The Finnish case is interesting, and I think there was a discussion here a while back as to whether Finland really had a state church, and whether the Lutheran and the Eastern Orthodox Churches were both state religions. I think the status of these churches is more complex than, say, in England or Norway, where the churches are clearly established and where the head of state is the ceremonial head of the church. I think that in Finland, the aforementioned churches have preferential status, and perform some duties associated with the state in other countries, but there are also strong provisions for religious freedom. According to the International Religious Freedom Report 2006, "the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Orthodox Church are the established state churches." So, I think the map should be changed to reflect this, with Finland coloured in both Orthodox and Protestant stripes. Flag of Europe.svgFlag of Romania.svg Ronline 01:53, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
That seems reasonable to me, though it would probably be a pain for the maintainer of the map. I note that note 2 in the Established churches and former state churches in Europe table reads:

Note 2: 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.

I note that Finland now appears in both the Lutheran and Orthodox subsections of the Christian countries section due to your recent change. The reference cited for that change differs a bit from your edit summary, though, saying a bit more -- The constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respected this right in practice. According to law, the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Orthodox Church are the established state churches.
I also note that the Finnish constitution (dated 11 June 1999) says

Section 11 - Freedom of religion and conscience Everyone has the freedom of religion and conscience. Freedom of religion and conscience entails the right to profess and practice a religion, the convictions and the right to be a member of or decline to be a member of a religious community. obligation, against his or her conscience, to participate in the practice of a religion.


Section 6 - Equality Everyone is equal before the law. No one shall, without an acceptable reason, be treated differently from other persons on the ground of sex, age, origin, language, religion, conviction, opinion, health, disability or other reason that concerns his or her person. [...]


Section 76 - The Church Act Provisions on the organisation and administration of the Evangelic Lutheran The legislative procedure for enactment of the Church Act and the right to Church Act are governed by the specific provisions in that Code.

I haven't been able to find a copy of the Church act and the right to Church Act (??) which the constitution mentions. -- Boracay Bill 02:41, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Look... Established churches and former state churches in Europe... Finland Disestablished 1919 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 19:19, 22 January 2007

What is your point? Are you suggesting one or more of the following (if so, which and why?)?
  • Finland should not be listed among Jurisdictions which recognize one of the Eastern Orthodox Churches as their official religion
  • Finland should not be listed among Jurisdictions which recognize Lutheran as their official religion
  • in the Established churches and former state churches in Europe section, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland should not be listed in the Church column for Finland, or Finland should perhaps not be mentioned
  • in that same section, note 2 should be somehow modified or perhaps removed
  • something else
Please note that the intro to this page declares: A state religion (also called an official religion, established church or state church) is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state. I guess that the point here hinges on the precise meaning of "officially endorsed", and on whether the page should limit itself to present time or should also provide historical info as background (or perhaps should restrict the historical info to the Established churches and former state churches in Europe section). -- Boracay Bill 02:41, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

I mean that it's look like Finland don't have state religion anymore... Sorry, my bad english...-- 12:11, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

This is a point of contention in Finland. The Finnish Lutheran Church and the Finnish Orthodox Church, as well as Finnish Government state that Finland does not have a state church, as the state does not actively endorse any religion. Most importantly, the state does not use spiritual power or interfere with the internal affairs of any religious organization. Neither does it discriminate on the grounds of religion in theory or in practice. For example, all religious organizations have the right to conduct marriage ceremonies and the schools are required to provide religious education for any faith, if a required total of 3 pupils of same faith per municipality is exceeded. (We have a state-approved curriculum for Adventism, Baha'ism, Buddhism, people of the Lord -religion, Islam, Judaism, Catholic Church, Krishna-movement, Christian Community, Latter Day Saints, Non-denominational protestantism and of course, for Evangelic-Lutheranism and Orthodox Christianity. In addition, we have a non-denominational ethical curriculum.) However, the two churches enjoy a position as organizations of public nature, having a special relationship with the state. This causes many free-thinkers and atheists to argue that Finland does have a state religion. There is no simple NPOV answer to this question. Nonetheless, one should note that the position of an organization of public nature is not limited to the two churches. The Finnish Red Cross, National Defence Association, university student unions, reindeer owners' corporations (paliskunta), regional forestry associations etc. each have a similar position, with varying duties of public nature. -- 12:58, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

IMHO, this article does not clearly articulate its assertions regarding whether Finland has one or more State religions and, if so, which particular religion or religions. Also, the article fails to cite supporting sources for its assertions regarding this.

In the intro, the term State religion is defined for purposes of this article as follows:

A state religion (also called an official religion, established church or state church) is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state. [ ..snip.. ] State religions are examples of the official or government-sanctioned establishment of religion, as distinct from theocracy. It is also possible for a national church to become established without being under state control.

As I understand this -- for purposes of this article a state should be said to have a particular state religion or religions if (and only if) the state government officially endorses or sanctions one or more particular religions.

In the Christian Countries section, this article asserts:

  • Eastern Orthodox - Finland recognizes one of the Eastern Orthodox Churches (the Finnish Orthodox Church) as their state religion. No supporting citation is provided for this assertion.
  • Lutheran - Finland recognizes a Lutheran church (the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland) as their state religion. No supporting citation is provided for this assertion.

In the table in the Established churches and former state churches in Europe section, this article asserts that the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland is/was a State Church in Finland, and was disestablished in 1890(sic?) and/or 1919. An explanatory note attempts to clarify this as follows: 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.

I see that Section 76 of 1999 Finland Constitution reads:

Section 76 The Church Act

(1) Provisions on the organization and administration of the Evangelic Lutheran Church are laid down in the Church Act.
(2) The legislative procedure for enactment of the Church Act and the right to submit legislative proposals relating to the Church Act are governed by the specific provisions in that Code.

I take this as a constitutional declaration that the Government of Finland has the authority to control the organization and administration of the Evangelic Lutheran Church, with organizational and administrative details being spelled out in an ordinary law titled The Church Act. I take this to be an official constitutional endorsement or sanction of the Evangelic Lutheran Church by the Government of Finland. On the strength of this, it seems reasonable to me for this article to declare that the Evangelic Lutheran Church is a state church of Finland.

If you only read constitution, you are correct. However, the Church Act is not an ordinary law. The constitution explicitly states that it can be amended only according to its own provisions. The Church Act decrees that its amendments must be accepted by the Synod. After this, the parliament either passes the amendments without change or rejects them. The religious teaching and practice is not formulated in the Church Act but in the Church By-Law, which is wholly handled by the Synod. Thus, the secular government has only a right of veto in the changes of the church organization and administration. In matters of faith, it has no say. --MPorciusCato 08:56, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I checked the Finnish legislation a bit more widely. Other religious communities than the Finnish Evangelic-Lutheran Church and the Finnish Orthodox Church are governed by the Freedom of Religion Act, which includes the provisions on the religious communities. The internal affairs and administration of other communities are governed by the by-laws of several communities. Such by-laws must be passed by the community according to the existing community by-law, after which they are subject to the scrutiny of the Finnish Patents and Register Administration. If the by-law fulfills the requirements of the law, it is passed. Basically, the amendment of the Church Act undergoes the same process, but the Church Act undergoes ratification by the Parliament instead of Patents and Register Administration.
The administrative decisions of most Church authorities (not the Synod or the Council of Bishops) can be applied against in the administrational courts on the grounds of legality, but the same applies also to the decisions of other religious communities. Their decisions can be appealed against in the general district courts on the basis that they are against the community by-law or illegal. --MPorciusCato 11:02, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Do you know of online sources for English language translations of the Finnish Church Act and Freedom of Religion Act? -- Boracay Bill 22:45, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I tried to look for them, but there are none that I know. After all, the official languages of Finland are Finnish and Swedish. The Finlex-database includes translations of Finnish acts, but those are mostly on economically or politically important areas of the law. BTW, if you start studying the Freedom of Religion Act, you'll find the points about the appeal procedure in § 27, where you'll find a list of the articles of the Associations Act that must be followed by religious communities. The relevant articles of the Associations Act are §§ 32–34. Unfortunately, Associations Act (yhdistyslaki) is not translated into English, either. --MPorciusCato 05:50, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Adding to the previous, the status of religious community grants the beliefs of the religious community certain governmental approval. The Finnish penal codes includes a crime breach of the sanctity of religion (Penal Code, Chapter 17, § 10) which sanction a person who, A person who
"–– for the purpose of offending, publicly defames or desecrates what is otherwise held to be sacred by a church or religious community, as referred to in the Act on the Freedom of Religion (267/1998), or
(2) by making noise, acting threateningly or otherwise, disturbs worship, ecclesiastical proceedings, other similar religious proceedings or a funeral, shall be sentenced for a breach of the sanctity of religion to a fine or to imprisonment for at most six months.
§ 11 of the same chapter deals with the prevention of worship which also protects the churches and other religious communities. In addition, the religious communities may get the right of performing a valid marriages, if they wish. The religious communities are allowed to have their unpaid membership fees collected through confiscation proceedings as taxes. (Normal voluntary associations are only allowed to fire members who neglect their membership payments.) However, only the two churches can have their membership fees (church tax) collected through the normal tax collection process. Considering all the rights given to a religious community, it is surprisingly easy to found one: A religious community is founded when at least 20 adults sign a founding charter and accept the initial by-laws. Both churches and all religious communities are obligated to report the identities of their members to the population registry database. --MPorciusCato 07:03, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

The U.S. State Dept. International Religious Freedom Report 2006 - Finland says (without citing further sources): The constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respected this right in practice. According to law, the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Orthodox Church are the established state churches.

Based on this, it seems to me that

  1. That US State Dept report should be cited as a supporting source for the assertions in the Christian Countries section.
  2. An entry should be added to the table in in the Established churches and former state churches in Europe section naming the Finnish Orthodox Church as a state religion in Finland.
  3. An explanatory note should be added below that table explaining that the US State Department report is the supporting source for inclusion of both Finland entries in that table.
  4. The 1999 Constitution of Finland should be cited as a source supporting the designation in this table of the Evangelic Lutheran Church as a state religion of Finland.
  5. Supporting sources for the asserted disestablishment date(s) for the Evangelic Lutheran Church should be cited.
  6. The 1890(sic?) date in the table should probably be changed to 1809.

Perhaps some items (e.g., Juha Seppo (December 2004). "The Current Condition of Church-State Relations in Finland: Premises". Retrieved 2007-04-24.  ) should be mentioned in the External links section. -- Boracay Bill 02:05, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

What about the communal tax (yhteisövero) that is paid even by non-religious entrepreneurs and is partly diverted to churches? And the fact that Finnish state automatically collects church membership fees from the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Orthodox Church members (kirkollisvero, church tax) without them having to set up a system to collect those fees like other religious communities? Even though the Finnish state does not advance any religion directly it still does provide financial sponsorship for these two Christian churches.
Official institutions like the parliament also hold services of worship occasionally for their members and these are, according to my knowledge, exclusively Lutheran Christian even though the participants might not be. Of course, an Islamic representative for example could naturally abstain from participating but the system still favours Lutheran Christians as service for them is always organized but never one in a mosque or in a synagogue. In this case also, the Finnish system endorses Lutheran Christian civil servants. JJohannes (talk) 19:06, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, but the claim that Finland doesn't have a state religion anymore is true only nominally. The Lutheran and Orthodox churches aren't called "state churches", anymore, but "people's churches", but that's mere words. (In some countries banks owned by the state are also called "people's banks" or something similar.) However, these two churches sure have a special position in the Finnish legislation. First, the administration and organisation of the Lutheran church are prescribed by church law, passed by the Parliament of Finland, or more precisely only its members belonging to the Lutheran church. The churches gets tax revenue not only from its members, but also from all the companies regardless to whether they or their owners belong to the church or not. The taxes are collected from the church members by the state's tax authorities. The corporation tax is collected by the state's tax authorities for the state, and the Lutheran and Orthodox churches get part of it. In all schools, regardless to whether they are owned by the municipality, state or whether they are privately owned, there is obligatory religious teaching for all members of a religous community. The teachers get paid by the school. And all the conscripts in the Finnish Army who belong to the Lutheran church will swear a soldier's oath to a Lutheran minister. If this isn't a state religion, what is it? And I don't care about what it is called by the church itself, that's irrelevant. (talk) 06:12, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

State religion and official religion...[edit]

...these terms are not synonims. Indeed "state religion" or better "State Church" is a qualification which doesn't mean that this church is official (for example in Switzerland, in many cantons both the Catholic Church and the Evangelical-Reformed Church are State/Cantonal/Regional Churches, in some others also the Old Catholic Church has this status), while "official religion" means more. Swiss Cantons, German States, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden until 2000, England and Scotland have a State Church, but none of them have an official religion established by the State. This would be unconstitutional because it would obey to the principle of neutrality of the State.

I'm fairly certain that the Swedish constitution, which requires the head-of-state to confess the "pure evangelical doctrine", does not recognize any principle of neutrality of the State wrt religion. Orcoteuthis (talk) 16:56, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Sources: Silvio Ferrari - Ivan Iban, Dititto e religione in Europa occidentale, Il Mulino, Bologna 1997; Sandro Cattacin - Cla Reto Famos - Michael Duttwiler - Hans Mahnig, Stato e religione in Svizzera - lotte per il riconoscimento, forme di riconoscimento, Forum Svizzero per lo studio delle migrazioni e della popolazione, Bern 2003; Vincenzo Pacillo, Stato, individui e fenomeno religioso nella nuova Costituzione federale e nelle più recenti Costituzioni cantonali svizzere, "Quaderni di diritto e politica ecclesiastica", n. 1, April 2001; Vincenzo Pacillo, La democratizzazione delle Confessioni religiose nella Confederazione elvetica, "Rivista Daimon", 2001.

The page is heavily incorrect. --Checco 11:02, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Swiss Cantons:
  • Argau, Basel-Country and Bern have three State/Cantonal Churches: the Roman Catholic Church, the Swiss Reformed Church and the Old Catholic Church;
  • Graubunden, Uri, Schwytz, Glarus and Thurgau have two State/Cantonal Churches: the Roman Catholic Church and the Swiss Reformed Church;
  • Nidwald has only a State/Cantonal Church: the Roman Catholic Church;
  • Zurich has only a State/Cantonal Church: the Swiss Reformed Church.
The other cantons recognize to some Churches and religious communities (the Jewish Community in S. Gallen, Basel-City, Bern and Freiburg) the status of "public-law corporation". Also the cantons mentioned before give this status to other religious communities which aren't State Churches (an example? Bern). Only Geneve and Neuchatel are separatist cantons. --Checco 11:12, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I made some of the changes I considered urgently necessary. --Checco 12:20, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

State Churches in the UK[edit]

For some reason Scotland and Wales are listed as having Anglican state churches. Wales used to have the Church of England as its state church, but the Welsh Church was separated and disestablished in 1920. Scotland has a state church, but it is not the Scottish Episcopal Church, but the Church of Scotland, a Reformed/Presbyterian church. I'm fixing this. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:03, 19 February 2007 (UTC).

You are wrong. Even if the Church of Scotland has this name and it is much bigger, the state church is the Scottish Episcopal Church. --Checco 18:04, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, that's two opinions heard from. It would probably be useful to add a cite supporting whichever opinion is correct to the article, and to correct the body of the article -- which asserts at one point that the national church of Scotland is the Church of Scotland, and which asserts contrarily at another point that the Scottish Episcopal Church is. Also, I note (1) that the Church of Scotland page asserts that, "The Church of Scotland (CofS, known informally as The Kirk; Eaglais na h-Alba in Scottish Gaelic) is the national church of Scotland.", but does not supply a citation supporting that assertion and (2) the Scottish Episcopal Church page refers to "... the national Church of Scotland". -- Boracay Bill 00:11, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Britannica refers to "the established Church of Scotland"[5]. The BBC calls the Church of Scotland "Scotland's established church"[6] (also [7]) --David Edgar 19:03, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
The intro to this article says: "A state religion (also called an official religion, established church or state church) is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state." I think what is needed is a cite of an instrument issued by the government of Scotland which officially endorses one or the other of these churches. -- Boracay Bill 01:19, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, for starters, here's a link to the Act of Union: Union with England Act 1707 Table of Textual Amendments from the UK parliament publications site, which discusses the establishment of the Presbyterian Church (the Church of Scotland) when Great Britain was created as a nation. It also refers to the changes made by the Church of Scotland Act 1921. --David Edgar 19:45, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
AFAICT (and I am no expert -- Yells: is there an expert out there who can help?), that first link is to a document which seems to have, in 1706 / 1707, established the Presbyterian Church as the State Church of the UK and of the countries comprising it, including Scotland. The second link is to a wikipedia page which leads to the wikisource page: Church of Scotland Act 1921, which seems to have declared that the Church of Scotland is the national church in Scotland. The Scotland section of wikipedia page titled Religion in the United Kingdom explains that (without supporting cites) thusly: "The Church of Scotland is recognised in law (by the Church of Scotland Act 1921) as the national church in Scotland, but is not an established church and is independent of state control in matters spiritual." That wikipedia page also declares (also without a supporting cite) "The indigenous Scottish Episcopal Church (which is part of the Anglican communion), is a relatively small denomination and not established." (Perhaps that should have said "... also not established.") (note: emphasis was added by me)
There seem to be contradictions on this page regarding Scotland, the Church of Scotland, and the Scottish Episcopal Church. There seem to be contradictions between claims made in various other wikipedia pages which touch on this subject - some mentioned in earlier discussion in this talk page section. Reading some outside sources has not cleared the matter up for me. I don't think I am contributing anything useful here, and I am withdrawing from this discussion. Hopefully, someone with a better grasp on all of this than I have will step in and clarify matters. -- Boracay Bill 02:54, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Scotland is mostly Presbyterian, but the state church is definitely Anglican. I'm sure about it, 'cos I studied it at University. A reliable source? Silvio Ferrari - Ivan Iban, Diritto e religione in Europa occidentale, Il Mulino, Bologna 1997. --Checco 13:46, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately it is a book. --Checco 13:48, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps the book can be cited in support of this assertion, and the relevent supporting bit from the book can be quoted (in English translation if need be).
Also, I grubbed around a bit and came up with RELIGIOUS LIBERTY: THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK IN SELECTED OSCE COUNTRIES (May 2000 - A Report Prepared by the Law Library, Library of Congress, at the Request of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe). This report does not have a section on Scotland, but it does mention Scotland at several points. One bit says: "The Church of Scotland is “established” in the sense that its system of church courts was set up by Parliament, but over the centuries it has resisted interference by secular authorities. The Church of Scotland Act 1921 recognizes its exclusive authority to decide ecclesiastical issues, and the statute incorporates and accepts the Church’s Declaratory Articles as lawful." Bear in mind here that the intro to this article says: "A state religion (also called an official religion, established church or state church) is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state." So, in my mind the operative question is whether or not some particular Church has been officially endorsed by the state. Does acceptance by the state of decisions of church courts regarding ecclesiastical issues constitute an official endorsement of the church by the state? -- Boracay Bill 23:22, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
I think this issue is a dead letter, but I am rather surprised that there is any confusion on this matter - and baffled that Checco insists that the established church in Scotland is the Anglican Scottish Episcopal Church. He claims to have learned in university that Anglicanism is the state religion in Scotland, but this is totally incorrect. The Scottish Episcopal Church is absolutely not the established church in Scotland. It is a remnant of those in Scotland that remained loyal to episcopal church government (meaning rule by bishops) while the majority desired a presbyterian system (rule by elders). Bishops existed in the post-Reformation Church of Scotland from 1560-1690 in spite of the fact that many Scots favoured a presbyterian system. Nonetheless, both factions (Episcopalians and Presbyterians) were members of the same church. Episcopacy was abolished in Scotland after the Glorious Revolution by the 1689 Scottish Convention. Part of the reason for their abolition is that many Presbyterians supported the overthrow of the Roman Catholic James II (in Scotland known as James VII) in favour of the coregency of Mary II, daughter of James II, and her husband, William, Prince of Orange, who became William III of England - in Scotland, he is known as William II. Many Scottish bishops, however, refused to swear allegiance to William, and supported the Jacobite cause.
It is noteworthy that when the British monarch is in Scotland, his or her chaplains and chapels are Church of Scotland and not Scottish Episcopal. This is part of the constitutional settlement since 1690. The established Church of England is not the established church of the United Kingdom and was not the established church of the former British Empire - it is only established in England itself. When the monarch is in Scotland, he or she is an ordinary lay member of the Church of Scotland - even though he or she is the titular Supreme Governor of the Church of England. If the monarch attends the annual meeting of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, he or she does so as a lay member with no right of interference. If the monarch does not attend, a Lord High Commissioner is appointed to represent the monarch - but again with no right of interference.
The Church of Scotland claims to be the national church of Scotland, but has always refused the title of established church. Because it is not established, it cannot be disestablished. Jm3106jr (talk) 09:51, 28 March 2012 (UTC)


The establishment of a state religion almost always coincides with an establishment of "discouragement" for individuals not belonging to that state religion. The Wiki article completely ignores this major aspect of established state religions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 01:42, April 28, 2007

The Kingdom and Church of England. The Church of England is older than the Kingdom and has the oldest legislative body in the kingdom, that of the Convocations of Canterbury and York. The Church of England, Ecclesiae Anglicanae, was always so called, and was "established" from the time of Saint Augustine. The sepâration of the Church of England from the Diocese of Rome was just that, and the powers of the Pope when Temporal were assumed by the King, and when Spiritual were granted to the Archbishop of Canterbury. This first separation ended with the reign of Bloody Mary, but was caused for the second time by the Deposition and Excommunication of Elizabeth and all who obeyed her, by the Pope in 1570. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:00, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Placing of {{POV-statement}} tag questioned[edit]

This edit placed the tag thusly: "[[Catholic]] Christianity, as opposed to Arianism and other heretical{{POV-statement}} and schismatic groups, was declared to be the state religion of the [[Roman Empire]] on [[February 27]] [[380]]"

As I read this, the assertion that Arianism, etc. is/are heretical is being labeled as a {{POV-statement}}.

The Heresy article says: "Heresy, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a "theological or religious opinion or doctrine maintained in opposition, or held to be contrary, to the Roman Catholic or Orthodox doctrine of the Christian Church, or, by extension, to that of any church, creed, or religious system, considered as orthodox."

The Animism article says, in part: "[...] In a more restrictive sense, animism is the belief that souls inhabit all or most objects; it attributes personalized souls to animals, vegetables, and minerals wherein the material object is—to some degree—governed by the qualities which comprise its particular soul."

It appears clear to me that Animism, at least in the restrictive sense described above, falls within the class comprising things heretical.

Or do I misunderstand? -- Boracay Bill 23:41, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

The line refers to Arianism. And "heresy" has the common meaning of "false religious doctrine" (especially since "orthodox" has the common meaning, as well as referring to certain denominations, of "true religious doctrine.") It doesn't matter if the line refers to the former or the latter, as written it is biased.

I suggest saying "... and other doctrines condemned as heretical." Jacob Haller 00:37, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Republic of Ireland[edit]

I don't believe the Roman Catholic Church was ever the state religion of the ROI. This entry was added by an unregistered user. I will delete this if nobody can prove otherwise Personalbest 16:29, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

After doing some research i have discovered that until '73 the constitution gave the Catholic church a "special position". Does this constitute "state religion"? Personalbest 00:09, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

According to the article Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland "Roman Catholicism was not made the state church". I will go ahead and delete. Personalbest 00:21, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Its true that the Republic of Ireland never actually established the Catholic Church as an official state religion but the original 1937 constitution did mention a "special position" for the church. That constitution had a lot of weird nebulous statements like that, like claiming that Northern Ireland was part of the nation but not the state. But the current notes on this section say "The above listed countries also give constitutional privileges to Catholicism without necessarily referring to it as the state religion." It seems like Ireland would fit that description pretty well! Ultan42 (talk) 12:40, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

"Special position" is a very vague phrase. In Chile it was used in the debates in the 1980s and 90s and in one technical detail the Catholic Church is in a -special position even today in that it is recognised as a "corporación de derecho público" without ever having done the necessary paper-work required of other bodies to obtain that status. However the relevant law on religious liberty establishes clearly that all religious bodies must be enjoy equal rights and privileges (Art. 20/ley 19.638). Therefore the phase "special position" does not necessarily mean favoured position and Ireland should only be listed here if soomeone can produce hard evidence fro a reliable source that other religious groups are actually still at some specific legally based disadvantage. Jpacobb (talk) 21:01, 1 September 2014 (UTC)


I've added to the article that Moldavia recently given the Eastern Orthodox Church a title of an official and major religion of Moldavia and its peeople AndreyX109


Niether the Republic of Macedonia nor the Macedonian Orthodox Church existed in 1797. Unless someone can justify this I will delete this entry. User: Personalbest 8/27/07 —Preceding signed but undated comment was added at 19:59, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

I went ahead and deleted it Personalbest 16:29, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

According to this very article the MOC is currently established Personalbest 00:39, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Established churches and former state churches[edit]

The table in this section should probably be adjusted; the inclusion of colspan'ed rows breaks sortable on the past couple of columns. -- Schneelocke 12:05, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

fixed. --Boracay Bill 01:15, 12 October 2007 (UTC)


How can Bern have THREE state religions and be majority Protestants? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Arthurian Legend (talkcontribs) 00:53, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Because official recognition as Landeskirche does not mean State Church. All main Churches, and the Jewish Community, too, are officially recognised. This is now the law in all Swiss cantons except Geneva and Neuchatel (where all religious communities are under private law). -- Freigut (talk) 20:51, 20 August 2012 (UTC)


Besides Turkey being 'laicist' it also has a misintry of religion rulled by a sunni (furthermore 'hanefi') 'imam'.(it s called 'diyanet isleri baskanligi which can be translated as 'office of religous affairs', and actually ministry is translated 'bakanlik'. but it acts nothing less than a bakanlik and is in one of the top percentiles of the budget)

The Turkish State not only bans muslim (mostly women because they can spotted easily) from the public sphere, they also have a ministry that they can control the muslims. for example 23 Nisan Ulusal Egemenlik ve Cocuk Bayrami (23rd of April National sovereignty and childrens day (the establishment of TBMM) ) a national day in turkey and during that week the mosques all over turkey, since all mosques have to read what the ministry gives them to read for friday preaching, preach about how children are important and etc.

can anyone call this secular? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:03, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

In Turkey there is no ministry of religion there is presidency of religious affairs. --scarletglory (talk) 01:11, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Canada: Officially Monotheist?[edit]

I just read the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, affirmed by the Constitution Act, 1982. The Preamble states: Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law[...][8]. Insofar as I'm reading that statement, that means that Canada is officially monotheist, if not explicitly Western Monotheist/Abrahamic although the document states that it respects freedom of religion. Does everyone else agree? samwaltz 22:45, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Godlessgeeks has gone to heaven?[edit]

The ref "State Constitutions that Discriminate Against Atheists. Retrieved on 2007-04-27." is not the best choice. Mostly because the website has been down for at least a week now. Benkeboy 13:31, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Ummm... no. I just checked. godlessgeeks/Atheists of Silicon Valley is still up and running. samwaltz 23:42, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Tax exempt status = State religion?!?!?[edit]

There's an assertion towards the end of the article that because religious institutions are tax exempt in many countries, they're "funded" by the governments of those countries, and, because it's in this article, it seems to imply that they constitute state religions...just because they're tax exempt. I'm not religious, but I find this assertion to be patently absurd, religious institutions receive tax exemptions in many countries because

  1. they do charitable work or socially useful work, such as aid to the poor or education;
  2. of the separation of religion and state, that government interference into religious matters includes the taxation of religious institutions, and is therefore contrary to separation of religion and state.

I fail to see how tax exemptions for religious institutions constitutes "state religion". Katana0182 —Preceding comment was added at 04:35, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

No, it's only in "Additional notes" section, and it also states "However, these religions are not established as state religions".-- (talk) 21:13, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

The sentence "In some cases, a state may have a set of state-sponsored religious denominations that it funds; such is the case in Alsace-Moselle in France, following the pattern in Germany" in the paragraph on "Types of state churches" also suggests that churches are state funded in these countries - which, at least as Germany is concerned, is just plain wrong (though you will find even many Germans who believe it). Churches get state money for only two reasons:

  1. as a compensation for former expropriation (for those who read German: "Bei den Staatsleistungen handelt es sich um rechtliche Verpflichtungen der Bundesländer, die ihre Ursache in staatlichen Enteignungen kirchlicher Ländereien vor 1918 haben." [9]),
  2. when they take on responsibilities that actually fall within the duties of the state (for instance, certain areas of charitable work).

The so-called "church taxes" are NOT state funding (or vice versa) but simply a way of collecting a membership fee with the least possible waste of money in extra administrative machinery.

So, while I cannot speak for the system in Alsace-Moselle, talking about "state-sponsored religious denominations" or "state funding" for churches is definitely wrong as far as Germany is concerned. Anna (talk) 16:21, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Not quite. The German state does fund the large Christian churches, e.g. the bishops' incomes are paid for by the state. And paying compensation for expropriations occurring before 1918 can hardly be justified IMO when many 1945-1949 expropriations are not compensated in any way. --Roentgenium111 (talk) 19:39, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
I don't know where you get your information. Can you provide any evidence for your claim that the bishops' incomes are supposed to be paid for by the state? To the best of my knowledge this is just plain wrong.
I am not exactly sure which 1945-1949 expropriations you are thinking of (there have been expropriations at many times, before 1945 and after 1949), but on the other hand, I don't really think it matters. In the first place, weighing wrongs against each other will not get us anywhere, and in the second place, Wikipedia does not seem the place to be deciding on these things. --Anna (talk) 21:57, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Possibly missing[edit]

Laos, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Peru: see here. Biruitorul (talk) 00:54, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Religion vs. Church vs Mosque[edit]

I've just reverted the change of a section heading from "Established churches and former state churches" to "Established churches or mosque and former state churches".

Aside from the grammatical error of difference in number (singular mosque vs. plural churches), there's a problem of the word "Church" having multiple meanings. "Church" can refer to a building or structure wherein religious services are held, as can "Mosque". "Church" can also refer to an ecclesiastical organization, while "Mosque" can not.

In the section heading reverted, "Church" was being used in the second sense. However, its usage in that sense was apparently taken by some editor to not include Islamic ecclesiastical organizations. Perhaps it's worthwhile to edit the article to use the world "religion" when referring to religions, the words "religious organization" or some such when referring to an ecclesiastical organization rather than using "Church" and leaving the door open to an inference by non-Christians that their religion is being slighted -- either that, or explain early-on in the article "The word 'Church', as used in this article, refers to ...". -- Boracay Bill (talk) 22:55, 12 August 2008 (UTC)


There have been a couple of edits to this article lately regarding Religion in Indonesia lately. Hoping to shortcut an edit war, I'll note that Constitution of Indonesia#Chapter XI: Religion says,"The nation is based on belief in God, but the state guarantees religious freedom for all.", and Chapter XI (Article 29) of The 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia says, in part, "The State shall be based upon the belief in the One and Only God." -- Boracay Bill (talk) 23:40, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Proposed merge[edit]

The article Establishment of religion covers exactly the same ground as this, with the exception of detailed discussion that appears Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. In fact that article was long merged with this until someone decided the merge was vandalism. The article seems to be the result of the mistaken belief that the term "establishment of religion" was another word for "religious organisation" (it gave the analogy of "hairdressing establishment"). This isn't true and the article is unnecessary and not well-written. --Lo2u (TC) 13:58, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

I've done it. Doesn't seem to be anything worth salvaging on the other page. --Lo2u (TC) 18:49, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
You did it rather prematurely. Usually one waits for the discussion to conclude (much less commence) before declaring a result. Be patient, things move very slow on these lesser pages (nobody is actively editing them on an hourly basis). You should wait until some discussions plays out before making unilateral changes. This should probably have an WP:RFC as well so the larger community becomes involved.
That said, the problem with the merge is that it invites POV. "State Religion" is but one aspect of the phrase "Establisment of Religion," they are not synonymous terms. In the United States there is a particular POV that the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment refers only to a prohibition on state religions. However, this viewpoint is not generally accepted (by the courts or by the public) and is certainly too controversial to list as fact on Wikipedia.
I agree that the article has serous problems and is very poorly written in many sections, but redirects aren't meant to solve editing problems. Careful editing is the prescription there. --Loonymonkey (talk) 17:20, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
One more note, since you are proposing a delete and redirect of the article, you will actually have to go through the WP:AFD process if you wish to eliminate this article. To do it otherwise, and without discussion can be considered vandalism and result in blocking of your account. Try to get some consensus before making the changes again.--Loonymonkey (talk) 17:22, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
1. Loonymonkey, regarding your edit comments. You are incorrect: the proper place to start a merge discussion is the merge to article, not the merge from article (see Wikipedia:MERGE). This article was a redirect for a long time without anyone objecting. After two days, nobody had said anything. I am not obliged to wait for someone else to comment - this is a major article with many contributors who could have responded if they objected. You appear to have been editing regularly since I commenced the discussion and have had plenty of time to object. I suggest you think carefully before you use words like vandalism - see WP:VANDAL if you need a definition ("Avoid the word "vandal". In particular, the word should not be used in reference to any contributor in good standing or to any edits that can arguably be construed as good-faithed. If the edits in question are made in good faith, they are not vandalism. Instead of calling a person making such edits a "vandal", discuss his or her specific edits with him or her. Comment on the content and substance of his or her edits or arguments, not his or her person."). You should also be aware that a merge is not the same as a delete and that when you are reverted you should take the signal to discuss.
2. On the subject of the redirect: you need to make your mind up about whether this article is about the phrase "establishment of religion" used in the US Constitution or about established churches. You're right to say it's not the same thing. If it is about the former, discussion of state religions in, for example, Arab countries does not belong in the article and there is already an article on the subject. If it is about the latter, an established church is the same as a state church and the article should be merged to State religion. Given that the phrase "establishment of religion" (as opposed to "established religion" which redirects here) is basically a quote from the US constitution, I have no objection to redirecting to Establishment Clause of the First Amendment (and you say you have no objection to redirecting) but I do disagree with the implication of what you say: that a completely inaccurate article is better than no article. There is nothing this article could possibly say that wouldn't be pure duplication.--Lo2u (TC) 18:00, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Proposed merge 2[edit]

There seems to be significant overlap between this article and Established church. Would it be appropriate that the latter article be merged in here? This might help reinforce the distinction between a national religion (e.g. Catholicism in Argentina) and a religious body controlled by a state (e.g. the Church of England). On the other hand, this article is getting a bit long already. Suggestions are welcome... OttoTheFish (talk) 07:23, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Slovakia has state religion?[edit]

According to the map it that right? Wikipedia's article on Slovakia doesnt say anything about a state religion. Daniel32708 (talk) 01:18, 21 January 2009 (UTC)Daniel32708

From the Constitution of Slovakia:

Chapter I Basic Provisions
Article 1
The Slovak Republic is a sovereign, democratic, and law-governed state. It is not linked to any ideology or religious belief.
Chapter II Basic Rights and Freedoms
Part 1 General Provisions
Article 12 [Equality]
(1) People are free and equal in dignity and their rights. Basic rights and liberties are inviolable, inalienable, secured by law, and unchallengeable.
(2) Basic rights and liberties on the territory of the Slovak Republic are guaranteed to everyone regardless of sex, race, color of skin, language, creed and religion, political or other beliefs, national or social origin, affiliation to a nation or ethnic group, property, descent, or another status. No one must be harmed, preferred, or discriminated against on these grounds.[...]
Part 2 Basic Human Rights and Liberties
Article 24 [Freedom of Religion]
(1) The freedoms of thought, conscience, religion, and faith are guaranteed. This right also comprises the possibility to change one's religious belief or faith. Everyone has the right to be without religious belief. Everyone has the right to publicly express his opinion.
(2) Everyone has the right to freely express his religion or faith on his own or together with others, privately or publicly, by means of divine and religious services, by observing religious rites, or by participating in the teaching of religion.
(3) Churches and religious communities administer their own affairs. In particular, they constitute their own bodies, inaugurate their clergymen, organize the teaching of religion, and establish religious orders and other church institutions independently of state bodies.
(4) Conditions for exercising rights according to Sections (1)-(3) can be limited only by law, if such a measure is unavoidable in a democratic society to protect public order, health, morality, or the rights and liberties of others.

-- Boracay Bill (talk) 00:39, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
It is clear that this country has no state religion. Can someone edit the map to correct this?Daniel32708 (talk) 01:03, 24 January 2009 (UTC)Daniel32708

Slovak constitution does not give any preference (or mention) to the Catholic church. The claim is also unsourced. (Rider In The Storm (talk) 18:47, 17 April 2012 (UTC)).

What claim? The above discussion dates from 2009, and whatever error applied then has clearly been corrected since. RashersTierney (talk) 19:09, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Cyprus seriously flawed here[edit]

Eastern Orthodox Church is definitely not a state religion in Cyprus any more than it is in the Lebanon. Cyprus has entirely separate church and state. There are a number of religious communities that are recognized. It is recognized that the Turks are Moslems and are entitled to the Evkef lands as being their own; the Armenians, Latins, and Maronites are recognized as being religious minorities in the Greek community. Actually the 1960 Constitution is no different really to the type the Lebanon has had since 1933. Eugene-elgato (talk) 15:55, 25 January 2009 (UTC) Eugene-elgato (talk) 16:04, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Once again I would like to ask whoever keeps adding that the Church of Cyprus is the state religion, and vandalizes my editing, to find a SOURCE for it, like I have done, which says it is NOT Eugene-elgato (talk) 16:13, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
I apologize for the one revert I did - I called it "unexplained anon edit" but I didn't catch the fact that an explanation was indeed added here a minute earlier. Since you have at least explained the blanking, I will not revert you any longer and will leave it to others who might research this area. Sorry again. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 16:26, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
 :$ lol its OK my friend, I get hot headed when I want to make a point! it's all good, thanks for making sure as well (Y) Eugene-elgato (talk) 17:06, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Bolivia no longer has state religion[edit]

According to the new constitution:

Artículo 4 El Estado respeta y garantiza la libertad de religión y de creencias espirituales, de acuerdo con sus cosmovisiones. El Estado es independiente de la religión.

Article 4

The state respects and guarantees the liberty of religion and of spiritual beliefs, according to its world view. The state is independent from the religion.

So...the map needs to be updated. Also, as I said before, Slovakia has no state religion and needs to be removed from the list.

Daniel32708 (talk) 18:06, 27 January 2009 (UTC)daniel32708

El Salvador Has No State Religion[edit]

Art. 26.- Se reconoce la personalidad jurídica de la Iglesia Católica. Las demás iglesias podrán obtener, conforme a la ley, el reconocimiento de su personalidad.

Article 26 -The Legal Person of the Catholic Church is recognized. The rest of the churches could obtain, according to the law, the recognizing of their personality.

This means that the state recognizes the catholic church, but does not have it as a state religion. The map needs to be updated, along with bolivia and slovakia. Daniel32708 (talk) 18:37, 27 January 2009 (UTC)daniel32708

Ibid: and CyprusEugene-elgato (talk) 20:06, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
I removed it from the list, along with bolivia, but map needs to be updated please Daniel32708 (talk) 01:09, 28 January 2009 (UTC)daniel32708

Article Merge[edit]

Guys, there is much confussion and mess with the terms of Established religion, State religion, and recognized religion. The articles regarding this subject are all messed up and full of mistakes. I propose we merge them, and create a single article that discusses the difference among those terms. It can include a map with colors for each status of a religion in a country (recognized or state religion). What do you think? Daniel32708 (talk) 01:25, 28 January 2009 (UTC)daniel32708

That sounds super to me! Go for it!! Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 01:50, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
Yeah this is a really good point. There are loads of different things that can get confused. Lots of countries simply have recognized religions, some have state religion, some official or national religion. Also within the muslim countries there is surely a difference between an Islamic State and a country with Islam as the state religion. I reckon the following are the only Islamic states: Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, the Maldives, Somalia [if it does have a state still], and some Nigerian states. Some countries have a state religion, but other official and semi state religions. If you look at the example of Greece, the Orthodox Church of Greece is the prevailing national religion in the constitution, and it also is bound up with the state. the Roman catholic church's dioceses are recognized; the chief rabbi is recognized, and the chief mufti is a state office and a civil servant just like all the Orthodox bishops are in some sense civil servants. But this could lead to absurdity because in Turkey which follows laicite, there is recognition of only four religions, and Islam being one of them is held under the Ministry of religion. it is confusing Eugene-elgato (talk) 10:36, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
Exactly, that is why a merge of this kind would be very useful and would simplify many things. Daniel32708 (talk) 17:16, 28 January 2009 (UTC)daniel32708
Sounds good to me too.
  1. Pick a merge-to article name.
  2. Create the merge-to article.
  3. Move this discussion to the talk page of the merge-to article.
  4. Discuss the merger on the merge-to article talk page.
  5. As merge-from candidates are identified, place {{Mergefrom}} and {{Mergeto}} templates.
  6. Merge articles, IAW discussion results.
-- Boracay Bill (talk) 23:43, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

So, is this going to happen or is there still some debate going on? That-Vela-Fella (talk) 19:15, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

States without a state religion[edit]

I added Albania to the list, because Albania haven't a official religion. --Dessy92 (talk) 20:29, 27 May 2009 (UTC)


The Armenian church isn't Eastern Orthodox, it's Oriental Orthodox. Peter jackson (talk) 10:27, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Armenia do not have a state religion. The Article 8.1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia (the amended 2005 version, not the original 1995 version that is in Wikisource) states: "The church shall be separate from the state in the Republic of Armenia"

Although it recognizes the special role of the national Armenian Apostolic Church

"The Republic of Armenia recognizes the exclusive historical mission of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church as a national church, in the spiritual life, development of the national culture and preservation of the national identity of the people of Armenia."

Thus, I believe Armenia should removed from the list of countries with state religion. 23:09, 02 May 2010 (UTC)


Jonathan Fox, A World Survey of Religion and the State, Cambridge University Press, 2008, is a specialized study published by a leading university, so it would presumably rank high as a reliable source, subject to the qualification that it covers mainly the period 1990-2002. In particular, it preesumably uses a consistent concept of "official religion", though at a quick examination I can't find it spelled out. In contrast, the current article seems to be mainly based on primary sources using a variety of different terminologies. For reference, here are its listings:

  • Christian
    • Catholic: Andorra, Liechtenstein, Malta, Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Domonican Republic
    • Protestant
      • Lutheran: Denmark, Iceland, Norway
    • Eastern Orthodox: Greece
    • Oriental Orthodox: Armenia
    • 2 state churches
      • Lutheran & Eastern Orthodox: Finland
      • Anglican & Presbyterian: UK
    • unspecified: Zambia
  • Muslim
    • Sunni: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, UAE, W Sahara, Comoros, Djibouti, Mauritania, Somalia, Sudan
    • Shia (Ithna'ashari): Iran
    • unspecified: Iraq (this refers to the Saddam period, so is no doubt irrelevant now anyway), Yemen (possibly the Zaidi branch of the Shia, which are a major tradition there)
  • Buddhist
    • Drugpa: Bhutan
    • Theravada: Cambodia, Sri Lanka
  • Jewish: Israel

Peter jackson (talk) 11:09, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

The above arrangement, I should add, is my own. As you might have guessed from careful examination, the book lists countries alphabetically within regions. I may have been guilty of some minor miscategorization, because the tables have separate columns for majority religion & whether a state has an official religion. They don't explicitly state what it is, so there may be cases where it's actually only "Christian" or "Muslim" rather than "Catholic" or "Sunni". I've checked only a few cases. Peter jackson (talk) 11:13, 30 May 2009 (UTC)


I reverted the addition of a note reading "(Roman Catholic Church is a de facto state religion)". The definition of State religion in the lead sentence is, "A state religion (also called an official religion, established church or state church) is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state." Article II, Section 6 of the RP constitution says, "The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable. ". Article II, Section 5 says, "No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights." The CIA Factbook - PH reports under Religions, "Roman Catholic 80.9%, Muslim 5%, Evangelical 2.8%, Iglesia ni Kristo 2.3%, Aglipayan 2%, other Christian 4.5%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.6%, none 0.1% (2000 census)". Roman Catholicism is the religion of a significant majority of the population, but the assertion that it is a "de facto state religion" would need to cite solid supporting sources. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 00:56, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Hungary not 1848, but 1946![edit]

The roman catholic church was not truly dis-established in Hungary until 1946! The 1848-49 dis-establishement came to nothing due to the fall of revolution and defeat in the national liberation war. The Habsburgs (1849 to 1918) reinstalled the popian religion into power. The same situation remained under the Horthy-regime (1920-1944), the so-called kingless kingdom period, when the Holy Crown of Hungary nominally ruled.

The arcbishop of Esztergom officially held the title of "hercegprimas" (archiduke-cardinal) and was not stripped of the title until early 1946, when monarchy was abolished on soviet instruction and the republic, then "people's republic" was declared in the new hungarian constitution. József Mindszenty hercegprimas continued to use his abolished title even after that. He fled to exile in the US Embassy building in Budapest in 1956 and then on to West Germany, not willing to accept church dis-establishement and communist state control over religions.

Hungary has remained fully secular ever since. Practice of old religions is very low percentage today, but newish cults skyrocket, even the shameful scientology scam can operate unhindered and has large influence in the government since mid-2002. Hit Gyulekezet (means Congregation of Faith) is another popular new scam religion used to collect loads of money by fake hungarian gurus. local TV programmes are markedly atheist and have no problem with wildest sex or violence after 10PM. Hungary has world's 3rd largest porn movie film industry, located in Budapest.

The only money catholics have received from the state since 1990 is the compensation for many buildings and lands which the communist regime forcibly confiscated from the churches in 1949-1953. People have the right to donate 1% of yearl their income tax to any religion. If they wish not, it goes to a state fund used for crop-dusting the massively widespread and troublesome allergic plant "ragweed" to prevent hay fever.

Thanks for your attention, Sincerely: Tamas Feher from Budapest, Hungary. (talk) 09:44, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

To make it better explained how catholic church was not dis-eastablished until 1946, let me put this example: Governor Miklos Horthy (ruled 1920-1944) was a calvinist protestant, therefore the roman catholic church demanded and obtained a guarantee law such that the hungarian prime minister must be a practicing roman catholic male at all times and all catholic bishops automatically receive a seat in the upper house of hungarian parliament. For this reason the Horthy-regime of 1920-1944 is often called a neo-feudalist state system. This was abolished in 1946 and after wards prime ministers (called "minisztertanacs elnoke" in hungarian) all became diehard-atheists during the 1948-1989 communist rule. (talk) 09:52, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
This edit popped up on my watchlist, and I notice wikitext errors. The details being discussed above are not within my expertise, but it sourds like a supporting source should be cited. A little googling turned this up. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 19:59, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Church of Hawaii[edit]

Would it be appropriate to include a mention of the Anglican Church of Hawaii which was the Hawai'ian state religion from 1862-1893? Orville Eastland (talk) 20:42, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Switzerland II[edit]

No Swiss Canton has a State religion. Recognition by public law does not mean recognition as state religion. Please do not add it again. --Freigut (talk) 15:17, 25 August 2010 (UTC)


is't shinto the state religion of japan? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:11, 28 April 2011 (UTC)


Italy disestablished Catholicism as the state religion in the 1947 constitution which declared the separation of Church and State. This other Wikipedia article also states this:

"A new constitution was written, setting up a parliamentary democracy. The 1929 Concordat with the Vatican was continued, while Catholicism was not the official state religion anymore."

-- (talk) 15:42, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Portugal (done)[edit]

In the article is stated that, although not treated as the State religion, Catholicism has a "special status" in the Portuguese constitution. That is not the case. Please correct that part as article 41st of the Portuguese Constitution dictates the separation of State and whatever religion and establishes the freedom of professing any religion. Not once in the entire Constitution (296 articles) the words "Catholic", "Catholicism" or other of that kind is referred. So please, exclude Portugal from that list. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:16, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

I will do that. B.Lameira (talk) 22:04, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. B.Lameira (talk) 21:54, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

The above comment is not entirely true; while the Constitution of Portugal does not mention Catholicism, the church-state relationship is established elsewhere in law: Portugal signed a concordat in 2004 with the Vatican which DID grant Roman Catholicism a special status. The article should be corrected to reflect that, as well as the map. (talk) 05:51, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

What you wrote is completely false, the Concordat is an international treaty between a state and the Vatican. It does not confer a special status in law to the Catholic Church, tax exemption does not mean being an official religion. (talk) 01:50, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

Breaking news! Norway has changed it's constitution and removed the notion of a state church.[edit]

Here are some news articles:

So... who knows how to modify the picture in the present article?

Obhave (talk) 18:44, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

I'm not clear on the exact status of this change. [10] says, "[T]he Norwegian Parliament separated church and state when it carried a constitutional amendment that abolished the Church of Norway." However, Article 112 of the constitution of Norway appears to require further steps before the amendment becomes effective ("... An amendment to the Constitution adopted in the manner aforesaid shall be signed by the President and the Secretary of the Storting, and shall be sent to the King for public announcement in print as an applicable provision of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Norway.")
Modifying File:Map_of_state_religions.png looks straightforward. If nobody else steps up, I can do that once we're sure that the constitutional amendment has taken effect. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 23:48, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

The difference between Norway's new constitution as of 21 May 2012 and the wordings in the constitutions of Denmark and Iceland is not very big. I would say that "The Evangelical Lutheran Church shall be the State Church in Iceland and, as such, it shall be supported and protected by the State." does not imply that Iceland has a state religion. (I do not know if there is another source for Iceland having a state religion (in common law or otherwise). I have read that Iceland adopted Christianity as its state religion in year 1000.)

The same is the case with Denmark: "The Evangelical Lutheran Church shall be the Established Church of Denmark, and, as such, it shall be supported by the State." does not imply a state religion. The new § 16 second and third sentence in Norway's constitution says (my translation) "The Church of Norway, an Evangelical-Lutheran church, remains the established [or national] church of Norway, and, as such, it shall be supported by the state. Further regulations on its arrangement shall be laid down by law." This is almost literally the same situation as in Denmark, and certainly not further from giving a state religion.

I will thus suggest to remove the colour from Denmark (and perhaps Iceland) in the picture of state religions in the present world.

Additionally, I cannot see that the following source tells that England has a state religion - - although I think that this is the case. Can anyone clarify this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:27, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

If the constitutions of Iceland and Denmark stating that "so and so church shall be the established church" does not go far enough for you to ascertain that these countries do indeed have established churches, then what more would it possibly take? Do not be so hasty to remove color from the map based on your own forced interpretations; it seems that you have made the goal of removing as much color from the wikipedia map your ultimate goal for the time being... Strange and sad. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 18:18, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Quite the contrary. I think that the change in the Constitution of Norway on Monday was a sad thing. However, I would argue that there is a distinction between the terms "established church" (and, for that matter, "state church") and "state religion". Thus, I think it is wrong to treat these terms as equals in the first sentence of this article. Indeed, Norway will still have an established church (in article 16, as mentioned above), although the state religion in article 2 is removed. Nothing that I can see, suggests a difference between Norway and Denmark with regards to the question of state religion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:41, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

But as it is, our article does not make your distinction, whatever it is, and it does treat the terms "state religion" and "established church" as equivalent, or at least a subspecies of the same concept, so I would say you've got your work cut out for you convincing people otherwise for purposes of rearranging the map... Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 22:03, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

The consequence of the article's treatment of these terms would be to colour Norway as well, because Norway retains an established church. But that does not reflect the realities, due to the removal of the state religion in the article 2 of the constitution. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:15, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

So, Norway has removed a "state religion", but yet it still favors an particular "established church" in the constitution... and one would now think the ultimate goal and purpose in such hair splitting was solely to get the color removed from a wikipedia map, for propaganda purposes, and then to apply some warped view of 'full faith and credit' to get the colors removed from a couple of other sovereign states as well, by applying some kind of 'black logic'... That's kind of what I mean by strange and sad... Remember, someone famous once said "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of tiny minds"... Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 00:35, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
The assertion that Norway has secularized and no longer has a state church is patently false and not NPOV. On 21 May 2012, the Norwegian Parliament passed a constitutional amendment for the second time (such amendments must be passed twice in separate parliaments to come into effect) that granted the Church of Norway increased autonomy, and states that "the Church of Norway, an Evangelical-Lutheran church, remains Norway's people's church, and is supported by the State as such" ("people's church" or folkekirke is also the name of the Danish state church, Folkekirken), replacing the earlier expression which stated that "the Evangelical-Lutheran religion remains the public religion of the State." The constitution also says that Norway's values are based on its Christian and humanist heritage, and according to the Constitution, the King is required to be Lutheran. The government will still provide funding for the church as it does with other faith-based institutions, but the responsibility for appointing bishops and provosts will now rest with the church instead of the government. Prior to 1997, the appointments of parish priests and residing chaplains was also the responsibility of the government, but the church was granted the right to hire such clergy directly with the new Church Law of 1997. Nevertheless, even after the changes in 1997 and 2012, all clergy remain civil servants (state employees), the central and regional church administrations remain a part of the state administration, the Church of Norway is regulated by its own law (kirkeloven) and all municipalities are required by law to support the activities of the Church of Norway and municipal authorities are represented in its local bodies. The amendment was a result of a compromise from 2008. Minister of Church Affairs Trond Giske then emphasized that the Church of Norway remains Norway's state church, stating that "the state church is retained. Neither the Labour Party nor the Centre Party had a mandate to agree to separate church and state." (see Of the government parties, the Labour Party and the Centre Party supported a continued state church, while only the Socialist Left Party preferred a separation of church and state, although all parties eventually voted for the 2008 compromise.(see and The final amendment passed by a vote of 162-3. The three dissenting votes, Lundteigen, Ramsøy, and Toppe, were all from the Centre Party. (see I have thus changed the entry on the Church of Norway in this article as Norway still has a state church - as the government itself has stated in the plainest terms. Jm3106jr (talk) 04:22, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification, Jm, it's just as I thought... Some were being awfully hasty last May to uncolor Norway for the new map. You have proved Norway should have remained colored blue the same as Denmark and Iceland. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 14:03, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

The terms state religion, official religion, established church and state church[edit]

The lead sentence of this article asserts that these four terms are equivalent. However, tequivalency of the terms state religion and established church has been questioned in the discussion section above (see here). Can editors of this article come to a consensus regarding whether or not these terms are equivalent? Consensus that there are differences of meaning between some of these terms would indicate that some revisions in the article are needed. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 06:58, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Switzerland III[edit]

Today, there is no Swiss canton which recognises only one Christian church. In all cantons, except Geneva and Neuchatel (where all Churches are under private law), both the Roman Catholic Church and the Swiss Reformed Church are officially recognised, in many cantons the Old (or Christ) Catholic Church, too, and in some cantons (e.g. Basle, Zurich) also the Jewish community. Official recognition (by public law) does not mean that these Churches and Communities are "State religions". Those times are over. -- Freigut (talk) 20:35, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

The Philippines has no state religion.[edit]

The Philippines has no state religion. There was no proof in the source given that the Philippines is de facto Catholic. In the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, though sharia does exist, it doesn't mean that it is officially de-facto or de-jure an entity with Islam as its official religion. Sairyu (talk) 05:19, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Edits to map[edit]

Georgia, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic are all coloured in on the map, but none of these countries have state religions anymore. This needs to be rectified (I would do it myself but I'm afraid I don't know how to edit the image). Kind regards, Burbridge92 (talk) 21:57, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

I don't know whether it's possible to colour-in The Faroe Islands, Tuvalu, Alsace-Moselle and Bhutan but if it is then they need the inverse doing to them to highlight their respective state religions. Thanks. Burbridge92 (talk) 22:19, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

Merge "State church"[edit]

This merge needs to happen. It looks like from the previous discussion there was no major objection to doing this. Was there some other discussion that has been removed? Regardless, though one can argue there are slight subtleties in what the terms refer to, those subtleties can be discussed in the article and do not merit separate articles.

--MC — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:16, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

The Episcopal Church was never the established church of the United States[edit]

This article has many flaws, but the table that shows the Episcopal Church as the state religion of the USA until 1792 is truly absurd. The Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA, otherwise known as The Episcopal Church, is indeed the American branch of the Church of England created when the USA separated from the United Kingdom shortly after the 1776 revolution. However, at no time was Anglicanism the state religion or state church of all 13 original colonies nor was it the state religion of the United States at any time. Some of the colonies did have official churches, including the Church of England where it was official in several colonies, including New York, the Carolinas, and Georgia. Others had no official religion, such as Rhode Island. The assertion that the Church of England was retained as the state religion of the newly formed United States in the form of the Episcopal Church in the years 1776-1792 has no basis in historical fact. There was never an established church for the United States, although several individual states did retain an official state church well into the 1820s, such as Massachusetts and the other New England states - except Rhode Island. However, in this example, the state church was Congregationalism - the church tradition that stemmed from the Puritan and Pilgrim founders of those colonies - not Anglicanism. The reference in the table to the USA and the Episcopal Church should be deleted. Jm3106jr (talk) 01:22, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

I have also deleted references to the Episcopal Church in the table of American colonies since those colonies in which the Church of England was the state church made no provision after 1776 for the Episcopal Church, not organized until 1783, to legally succeed it. In fact, the opposite was true in that all these states abolished any sectarian affiliation. Jm3106jr (talk) 14:05, 22 July 2013 (UTC)


It would be nice if the map and the text actually agreed with one another. Orcoteuthis (talk) 17:00, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

So does Bhutan for example have a state religion? Text says yes, map says no. The map may list a country as having a state religion even though it's not listed in the text. Vice versa, the text may list a country as having a state religion even though it's not colored as any state religion on the map. I just gave the example of Bhutan, but there are more examples to list, but won't. -- (talk) 04:02, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

I've opened a related discussion (later archived here) at WT:V#Verifiability policy for images offered and used to illustrate article content. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 07:35, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

The map does not accurately reflect nations in which Roman Catholicism is the state religion and/or has special status. There are others, such as Portugal and Poland among others which have concordats with the Roman See which give special status and/or establishment, though they are not officially a part of their constitutions. Still they are national laws/treaties. So the map ought to reflect that. (talk) 05:56, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Roman Catholic Church is not **special** in Poland as far as the law is concerned. It's a recognized religion by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (among 300 others or so), and yes, there's the Concordate, but it's just a special name for a treaty between Republic of Poland and the Holy See - treaties between the RoP and others churches are called, well, treaties. The Constitution of the RoP mentions Christianity (not Catholicism) as one of the sources of the culture, but that's about it. Also it mentions God, but it says something along We, the Polish Nation - all citizens of the Republic. Both those who believe in God as the source of truth, justice, good and beauty, As well as those not sharing such faith but respecting those universal values as arising from other sources...... There's probably nothing (wrt the privileges) that the Roman Catholic Church can do in Poland, and other denominations (which also signed treaties - there's currently 11 of them including mormons, Jews etc.) cannot (e.g. confirming marriages), at least in theory, because while having ~50% or so Poles being active members of this church, it can use some indirect political power (e.g. parties claiming to always vote as the current Catholic Church dogma requires), also many church-originating traditions are recognized by the state (e.g. holidays during x-mas, and easter holidays etc). (talk) 23:14, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

The map has to be updated[edit]

Norway is secular now. (talk) 01:13, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

That source says that the change will officially come into effect on June 15. ----
The constitutional change in Norway doesn't really mean full separation of church and state. The church gets increased autonomy but it continues to be very much reliant on the state for support. After the change, the situation in Norway is very much like it is in Iceland which is considered to have a state religion. --Bjarki (talk) 17:42, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
But this is not the Separation of Church and State article. The lead sentence of this article says, "A state religion (also called an official religion, established church or state church) is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state." Article 62 of the Icelandic constitution says, "The Evangelical Lutheran Church shall be the State Church in Iceland ..."[11], Article 2 of the Norwegian constitution currently says, "... The Evangelical-Lutheran religion shall remain the official religion of the State ..."[12]. According to [13], "In the new wording of the Constitution there no longer is any referance to an 'official religion of the State.' Article 2 in the Constitution now says [sic. probably should read 'will say after June 15'] that Norway's values are based on its Christian and humanist heritage. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 00:40, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
However, the same reference notes that all clergy will remain state employees and that the Church of Norway will still be financially supported by the state. In addition, Article 4 of the Constitution remains unchanged: "The King shall at all times profess the Evangelical-Lutheran religion, and uphold and protect the same." It still sounds very much like a state church to me. Jm3106jr (talk) 03:44, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
But see WP:V. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 17:30, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
In regard to WP:V, I will repost what I had posted earlier on this talk page: "The assertion that Norway has secularized and no longer has a state church is patently false and not NPOV. On 21 May 2012, the Norwegian Parliament passed a constitutional amendment for the second time (such amendments must be passed twice in separate parliaments to come into effect) that granted the Church of Norway increased autonomy, and states that "the Church of Norway, an Evangelical-Lutheran church, remains Norway's people's church, and is supported by the State as such" ("people's church" or folkekirke is also the name of the Danish state church, Folkekirken), replacing the earlier expression which stated that "the Evangelical-Lutheran religion remains the public religion of the State." The constitution also says that Norway's values are based on its Christian and humanist heritage, and according to the Constitution, the King is required to be Lutheran. The government will still provide funding for the church as it does with other faith-based institutions, but the responsibility for appointing bishops and provosts will now rest with the church instead of the government. Prior to 1997, the appointments of parish priests and residing chaplains was also the responsibility of the government, but the church was granted the right to hire such clergy directly with the new Church Law of 1997. Nevertheless, even after the changes in 1997 and 2012, all clergy remain civil servants (state employees), the central and regional church administrations remain a part of the state administration, the Church of Norway is regulated by its own law (kirkeloven) and all municipalities are required by law to support the activities of the Church of Norway and municipal authorities are represented in its local bodies. The amendment was a result of a compromise from 2008. Minister of Church Affairs Trond Giske then emphasized that the Church of Norway remains Norway's state church, stating that "the state church is retained. Neither the Labour Party nor the Centre Party had a mandate to agree to separate church and state." (see Of the government parties, the Labour Party and the Centre Party supported a continued state church, while only the Socialist Left Party preferred a separation of church and state, although all parties eventually voted for the 2008 compromise.(see and The final amendment passed by a vote of 162-3. The three dissenting votes, Lundteigen, Ramsøy, and Toppe, were all from the Centre Party. (see" Thus the Government of Norway's Minister of Church Affairs has plainly stated that "the state church is retained." One could argue that he is incorrect in his assertion, but it seems dubious to assert that Norway no longer has a state church when its own Government maintains that it does. Jm3106jr (talk) 00:37, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
I still think Norway's just doing this so they can stop being colored blue on the wikipedia map. They want to sit on the fence and have it both ways - still be Lutheran by constitution, but disassociate themselves from Lutheran Church just minimally enough to get themselves colored grey on our map. We should not be fooled. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 01:10, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

State religion in Argentina[edit]

The source cited was translating "El Gobierno federal sostiene el culto católico apostólico romano." to "The Federal Government supports the Roman Catholic Apostolic religion.", but the word "sostiene" shouldn't be translated to "support", in this case it means something along "keeps", or "has", but not "support". Anyway, shamefully, the official religion is catholic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zequez (talkcontribs) 17:11, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Jewish Autonomous Oblast[edit]

Should the Jewish Autonomous Oblast of Russia be listed? Its part of Russia but it has an official religion, it is ruled by the members if the religion, and officially promotes their language and culture despite them being a minority. (talk) 06:14, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Discrepancies between article and image[edit]

I know that image talk is separate, but the article has cited claims from constitutions that Argentina is state Catholic and Bhutan is state Buddhist. The image doesn't correspond. Indiasummer95 (talk) 12:38, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Church of Norway remains the state church[edit]

I have reverted the change that deleted the Church of Norway as a state church. There is some confusion, even in Norwegian media, about the Church of Norway's new status as of 2012. However, the Government and the Constitution clearly state that the state church is retained (see above discussion item 58). I reiterate the official government declaration: Minister of Church Affairs Trond Giske stated that the Church of Norway remains Norway's state church, stating that "the state church is retained. Neither the Labour Party nor the Centre Party had a mandate to agree to separate church and state." (see Please stop deleting the Church of Norway entry unless you have NPOV proof that the state church has been relegated. Jm3106jr (talk) 13:41, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

Restored the Church of Norway in the article yet again. I am not sure why but some editors simply do not want Norway to have a state church, but unlike Sweden, Norway, along with Denmark and Iceland, still have established Lutheran state churches - which the Norwegian government emphatically states to be the case! Jm3106jr (talk) 00:07, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Zambias state religion is Christianity[edit]

Zambia is officially a Christian nation according to the 1996 constitution[1] Could someone please update the map to include the country.

Commonwealth Realms[edit]

(The Commonwealth realms are Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis)

I have removed the following entries under Anglicanism (note that Defender of the Faith in Latin is fidei defensor not 'fedei.'):

I removed these entries because they have nothing to do with a state religion. Canada and New Zealand have no state church or state religion. The fact that both countries - which are commonwealth realms and retain the Elizabeth II and their head of state - use the title 'Defender of the Faith' in the royal style of their monarch as Queen of Canada and Queen of New Zealand respectively does not mean that any clarification is needed that Anglicanism is not established in either country. The only place in the world where Anglicanism is the state church is in England. It is not the state church of the United Kingdom and has no official status in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or any of the Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories. Jm3106jr (talk) 22:39, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

If a state has a law stating that its head of state must be of one particular religion (and not of another religion) that amounts to a state religion (let alone the need to clarify whether there is a state religion). This is exactly the situation in countries where Queen Elizabeth II is head of state. Whether those countries go on to establish the Anglican church is beside the point.

All countries with Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State (United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Belize, etc) have their head of state swear that he/she is a faithful Protestant on accession, in addition the Bill of Rights Act 1689 and the Act of Settlement 1700 provides that they must not be a Roman Catholic (and until 2013 they could not marry a Roman Catholic). These significant legal privileges, which are not given to any other religion, amount to a state religion even where the Anglican Church is not established because (as per the definition used in this article) it is a 'creed officially endorsed by the state.' The fact that two of the relevant countries -Canada and New Zealand, go even further and still have 'Defender of the Faith' in the Queen's title in right of those countries is relevant but less important than the religious requirement for the head of state.Aslan112 (talk) 09:01, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

The fact that the British Monarch is required to be a Protestant by British statute does not establish a religion in the UK or in any other country that has the British monarch as its Head of State. The only part of the UK that has a state church is England in the form of the Church of England. The older commonwealth realms retained the title of 'Defender of the Faith' in imitation of the royal style used in the UK. Other commonwealth realms do not use the title 'Defender of the Faith' in their royal style. In the case of Papua New Guinea, the Queen is not even accorded the title 'by the grace of God' in its royal style. Ironically, the title Fidei Defensor was awarded by Pope Leo X to Henry VIII for his rejection of Lutheranism. Although Henry later renounced Catholicism and separated the Church of England from Rome, he and his successors have retained this papal title. Each commonwealth realm is sovereign and none of them have by law established any state religion. Even in the UK, Northern Ireland and Wales have no state religion and in Scotland, the Church of Scotland while claiming to be a national church specifically rejects that it is a state church. Jm3106jr (talk) 22:56, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

The Act of Settlement 1700 is not an exclusively British Statute. All realms that have Queen Elizabeth II as head of state also have the Act of Settlement 1700 in their law. Some states have gone further and had their parliaments pass Acts specifically clarifying the point as in the case of New Zealand's Imperial Laws Application Act 1988. This is logical because if the Act of Settlement 1700 were an exclusively UK statute and if Charles, Prince of Wales, converted to Catholicism, he would be barred from becoming King of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (the UK) but not Canada, Australia, New Zealand or the other commonwealth realms and William Duke of Cambridge would be King of those realms. This would be a very odd result indeed.Aslan112 (talk)

It may seem odd, but each Commonwealth Realm must separately ratify in its own legislation any change to the Act of Succession. The Westminster Parliament cannot fiat a change in the Act for other sovereign countries that have the British monarch as their Head of State. All those states must also agree to the change. The recent proposal to allow a person in line of succession to marry a Catholic (which has not yet been enacted) had to be agreed to by ALL the Commonwealth Realms. If they did not agree, it would create a variance. And indeed, the possibility you suggest as odd - that a Commonwealth Realm could recognize as Head of State a member of the Royal House as sovereign not recognized as such by the UK itself is perfectly possible by law. For example, Canada could decide, by its own law, that it does not want to have a male monarch and could pass a law that states that the woman closest in line to the throne would become its Queen. She would then be Queen of Canada even if not Queen of the UK. Canada could also simply create its own Royal House and separate its monarch from that of the UK or abolish it altogether. Thus a Westminster statute only has force of law if it is included and accepted in the law of each Commonwealth Realm. Case in point is the Republic of Ireland which in 1949 abolished that last vestiges of the British monarchy's legal role in Ireland by enacting a law to that effect.Jm3106jr (talk) 13:54, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Atheism as a state religion[edit]

At least in Vietnam/North Korea? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:42, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

No, because atheism is not a religion per se. Vietnam does not mandate atheism even if it is assumed to be the policy of the Communist Party. North Korea also does not claim to be an atheist state. The only state that ever proclaimed itself to be an atheist nation (in the sense that all religion was officially abolished) was the People's Republic of Albania in 1967. State atheism began to be dismantled in Albania in 1989 and formally ended with collapse of the Communist regime between 1990-1992. Jm3106jr (talk) 17:40, 27 May 2014 (UTC)


Here's what's written in Argentina article:

The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion[4] and, although it does not enforce an official religion,[5][6] it gives Roman Catholicism a differential status.[7][A]

It says that Argentina has not an official religion. Thoughts?

The situation is apparently somewhat similar to that in Ireland. See #Republic of Ireland above. To my mind, an official religion would mean that members of other religious bodies were excluded from certain posts or discriminated in carrying out their religious duties (for example, not allowed chaplains in the armed forces). The examples in the footnote do not seem to me to make Catholicism official. Jpacobb (talk) 03:11, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Tidy up[edit]

The whole article could do with a tidy up. The sections could be a little more uniform. Some subsections have large explanations, some have none. Some examples give references and quotes from constitutions/legislation, some don't.

I'm happy to have a go at bringing the article up to par, but I can see from the history and the talk page, there are a lot of people interested in its content, so any help and input would be welcomed. Sotakeit (talk) 08:12, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Constitution of Zambia, 1991(Amended to 1996)". 30 June 2008. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Constitution of Argentina, art. 14.
  5. ^ C.S.J.N., "Sejean", Fallos 308:2268
  6. ^ C.S.J.N., "Villacampa", Fallos 312:122
  7. ^ Constitution of Argentina, art. 2.
  8. ^ "International Religious Freedom Report 2012 – Argentina". US Department of State. 2012. Archived from the original on 12 April 2014. 

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