Talk:State church

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Excellent article. I was dreading looking at it because I expected to have to correct the regularly repeated myth that Ireland's state church was or is the Catholic Church. But no, you got it 100% correct; the Church of Ireland (up to 1871) was the state church.

One suggestion; it might help if on the list we could indicate if someone is still the state church or lost that status. Perhaps (f) could be added in after the name of the denomination for former state churches. But congratulations. This is the sort of useful, factual articles wiki on occasions can do so well. ÉÍREman 22:31 Apr 19, 2003 (UTC)

It appears that Finland has two official state churches: the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the Orthodox Church of Finland. Wesley 20:51 Apr 21, 2003 (UTC)

Is a state church in Bosnia and Herzegovina really Roman Catholic Church? How about so many Bosnian Muslims? --XJamRastafire 23:43 29 May 2003 (UTC)

The state church isn't necessarily the religion of the majority. The Irish state church, for example, was the religion of only around 15% of the population, not the faith of 75% of the island. FearÉIREANN 00:02 30 May 2003 (UTC)

Bosnia's state church was the Catholic church under Habsburg rule (1878-1918). Before that it was ruled by the Ottomans (as was most of the Balkans) and Islam was the offical religion. Efghij

Perhaps someone with better knowledge of American history than me could put up a chart of the colonial/state established churches under the British and early republic. I recall that all of the southern states, along with New York and perhaps New Jersey, had Anglicanism as their state church, while Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire had Congregationalism, at least during the colonial period. Did other British colonies (and other European colonies) have state churches? john 00:12 30 May 2003 (UTC)

I am not really knowledgeable in this area but when I hear the term "Greek Orthodox" I know immediately what is meant. Unless told I would not know that the "Church of Greece" was the same thing. I assume that "Church of Greece" is the correct official title, so maybe the entry should be "Church of Greece (Greek Orthodox)". -- Chris Q 06:49 30 May 2003 (UTC)

The Roman Catholic Church is not, and has never been, the established church of Belgium. Perhaps the best indication of this is that Belgium's first monarch remained protestant for all his life. Belgium does not have a state religion, unless one considers the six/seven 'recognised' religions as established churches (although being Belgian myself, I don't consider them to be established churches like the Church of England is). These seven recognised religions are: catholicism, protestantism and judaism (since the independence of Belgium), anglicanism (since 1870), islam (since 1974), vrijzinnigheid/laïcité (since 1981) and orthodox christianity (since 1985). 'Vrijzinnigheid/Laïcité' is the term coined, not only for atheists, agnostics, but also for secular theists, who are not affiliated with a particular religion or church. The state takes care of the maintainance of their religious buildings, and provides teachers for an optional religion course in public schools (one or two hours a week, I believe).Children who belong to a different faith can also be given a religious course, but only on explicit demand of their parents. So one shoud either consider Belgium as not having a state church, or as having seven state churches - which is difficult to say, especially because protestantism consists of a large variety of denominations. Erwin 11:41 23 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Based on what you say, it sounds like Belgium has no state church, although it provides some support for most major religious institutions in the country. Wesley 20:55 23 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Isn't Turkey considered part of Europe? I thought it was applying to become part of the EU? I am not sure if there is a state religion. I think not since the end of the Ottoman Empire. Alex756 16:29, 30 Aug 2003 (UTC)

It's in both; if we need to pick just one it's in Asia (9,158 sq. mi. in Europe as opposed to 292,222 in Asia). But if it ever gets into the EU I suppose we might go around and change it... - Hephaestos 16:36, 30 Aug 2003 (UTC)
The Wikipedia article on Europe says it is part of Europe, which also includes Georgia and Armenia (as does this list). Gerogia is also in Asia, so perhaps parts of Asia can be in Europe? My only question regarding the established church topic is this: where does it say that Islam is the state religion of Turkey?
I've read the Turkish Embassy to the US web site and it stresses the secular nature of the Turkish constitution [1]. The constitution also has many mentions of non discrimination regarding religion (art. 10), freedom of religion and worship (art. 24) and a list of Ataturk's secularization laws (art. 174) which aim to raise Turkish society above the level of contemporary civilisation and to safeguard the secular character of the Republic. This is part of the 1982 consitution [2]. It seems to me that Turkey is a secular nation with a Moslem population, not a nation with Islam as a state religion. Also I find the table confusing; many states that do not have state religions are listed as: none since independence while others are listed as being disenfranchised as of a certain date. This could be stated in a manner that is more clear. Alex756 07:42, 1 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Why was Albania removed? Albania is clearly a European country, if it has never had a State Church it stil should be listed. If it was part of the Ottoman Empire its state church was previously Islam, no? Alex756 18:59, 3 Sep 2003 (UTC)

From my user page: "Dori, I'm not quite sure why you removed Albania from the State church page. This is a list of all european countries and the state status of religion in that country; it is not just about christianity (if you read the top page you will see that). If Albania does not (and never had) a state church, that is no reason to remove it from the page. I don't know much about Albanian history, but if it was part of the Ottoman Empire then its religion would have been Islam like Turkey, and the date in the right column should state when the state religion was disenfrancised (i.e. when there was no longer a state religion). If you think that the name of the page should be changed from State Church to State Religion I will support that, but I think there should be a discussion on the talk page before it is done, someone might reject the idea and better to discuss it before getting someone upset about just changing it — IMHO that is the kind of discussion folks around here like to encourage on talk pages. Alex756 19:14, 3 Sep 2003 (UTC)"

I removed it because Albania, as a state has never endorsed any religion (unless you want to count Atheism as one during the communist regime), let alone church. The issue of whether we're discussing relgion in general or churches is also valid. This article mentions mostly churches, which is more of an institution than a religion. If you want to consider the Ottoman Empire you would have to do so on its own. Yes, the territory now in Albania was part of the Ottoman Empire, and yes that empire imposed Islam as a religion on its conquered lands. However, Albania has not had taken a stance on a religion as a state and that is why I removed it. If you can find some evidence to the contrary you're welcome to, but I am not aware of any. --Dori 21:01, 3 Sep 2003 (UTC)
I guess we could add "none since independence" if you want. --Dori 21:03, 3 Sep 2003 (UTC)
How about merging the page with State religion? Isn't state church kind of confusing (and also Eurocentric)I'm going to list them both on duplicate pages? Alex756 23:59, 3 Sep 2003 (UTC)

6 Oct 2003 -- I edited the state church entry for Sweden. The Church of Sweden was disestablished in January 2000. :EdwinHJ

--Roman Catholics in Scotland-- I am pretty sure the roman catholic church has no special status in scotland. the presbyterian church is the state religion —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:02, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

The Presbyterian Church of Scotland is the national church of Scotland but it has fought long and hard (three hundred years and counting) to not be the state church. -- Derek Ross | Talk 01:38, 21 January 2010 (UTC)


Bhutan is mentioned as a state with state church - see here. Alinor (talk) 13:55, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Finland and Norway[edit]

I think there's some misinterpretation where "national churches" are being classed as "state churches". The Church of Norway and the Church of Finland have both been disestablished, which means that whilst they are still "national churches" (i.e. aimed at a specific ethnic group), they are no longer "state churches". Burbridge92 (talk) 16:54, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

There is considerable misinterpretation and confusion in this whole area. Norway's Church may have been disestablished, but it is still recognised by Law, unlike other denominations. In this sense it is not merely a "National Church", but a "State Church". The same is true of Scotland, where the Church of Scotland is uniquely recognised under Scottish Law. Both should be on this list, according to its own definition in its lead paragraph - "State churches are organizational bodies within a Christian denomination which are given official status or operated by a state." The Church of Norway and the Church of Scotland are not "operated by the State" and are not "Established Churches", but they ARE "given official status" by Law. The fact that the Queen, as Head of State, is Presbyterian (by Law) when in Scotland, makes the Church of Scotland a State Church, regardless of the fact that it is not Established. Timothy Titus Talk To TT 19:29, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
Also in Finland the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland is (uniquely, Finnish Orthodox Church is given recognition in taxing privileges only) recognised by both the (Finnish) Constitution (§76) and the Church Act of 1993 (which is regulated by the constitution's §76), which contains regulations of how the Church's (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland) governing body is formed, what are the Church's tasks and special privileges and what teachings it recognises. (The Church Act of 1993: Clearly, if a law is put for one church (Ev. Luth. Church of Finland) only (and also given constitutional recognition over other churches and religious communities), and the law regulates the Church's actions that strictly as in Finland, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland clearly is a State Church, as it is given official status in both the law and the constitution, even though it is not operated by state. What is often viewed as the disestablishment of the Church's position as a State Church is the old Constitution (of 1919) which made the government and state "unconfessional", and allowed people to not have to take part in the Church's activities. However, the privileges of the Church still stayed intact, apart from the possibility to force the views to the people (in the Church Act of 1869 the Church's own governing body was formed, thus separated from the state and direct governmental control de jure). The Church still enjoys unique, special privileges under the Constitution and the law while it is not state-operated, it is de facto a State Church as it's given an official status. Also, the new Constitution of 2000 makes the old Constitution of 1919 void of any legal value, and so it does to the claim of "unconfessional" state (it is replaced with individual-level freedom of religion in the new Constitution). Currently, the only laws in place regarding the Church and State and their relationship are the Constitution of 2000 and the Church Act of 1993, which replace the older, and under these the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland is given a privileged position (and partially state-assisted, eg. taxing) as an independent church (ie. with its own governing body). Other churches (apart from the taxing privilege of the Finnish Orthodox Church) or other religions aren't mentioned in the Constitution or other laws, which emphasises the special legal position of the Church (as a de facto State Church). --XoravaX (talk) 01:44, 3 October 2012 (UTC)