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[[Image:State Religions.svg|right|thumb|400px|Nations with state religions:

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A state religion (also called an official religion, established church or state church) is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state. Practically, a state without a state religion is called a secular state. The term state church is associated with Christianity, and is sometimes used to denote a specific national branch of Christianity. Closely related to state churches are what sociologists call ecclesiae, though the two are slightly different. 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. The first national church was the Armenian Orthodox Church which was established in 301 A.D.

Types of state churches

The degree and nature of state backing for denomination or creed designated as a state religion can vary. It can range from mere endorsement and financial support, with freedom for other faiths to practice, to prohibiting any competing religious body from operating and to persecuting the followers of other sects. In Europe, competition between Catholic and Protestant denominations for state sponsorship in the 16th century evolved the principle cuius regio eius religio ("states follow the religion of the ruler") embodied in the text of the treaty that marked the Peace of Augsburg, 1555. In Englandmarker the monarch imposed Protestantism in 1533, with himself taking the place of the Pope, while in Scotlandmarker the Church of Scotlandmarker opposed the religion of the ruler.

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 Francemarker, following the pattern in Germanymarker.

In some communist states, notably in North Koreamarker and Cubamarker, the state sponsors religious organizations, and activities outside those state-sponsored religious organizations are met with various degrees of official disapproval. In these cases, state religions are widely seen as efforts by the state to prevent alternate sources of authority.

State church vs state religion

There is also a difference between a "state church" and "state religion". A "state church" is created by the state, as in the cases of the Anglican Church, created by Henry VIII or the Church of Sweden, created by Gustav Vasa. An example of "state religion" is Argentina's acceptance of Catholicism as its religion. In the case of the former, the state has absolute control over the church, but in the case of the latter, in this example, the Vatican has control over the church.

Sociology of state churches

Sociologists refer to mainstream non-state religions as denominations. State religions tend to admit a larger variety of opinion within them than denominations. Denominations encountering major differences of opinion within themselves are likely to split; this option is not open for most state churches, so they tend to try to integrate differing opinions within themselves.

Many sociologists now consider the effect of a state church as analogous to a chartered monopoly in religion.

Where state religions exist, it is usually true the majority of residents are officially considered adherents; however, much of this support is little more than nominal; many members of the church rarely attend it. But the population's allegiance towards the state religion is often strong enough to prevent them from joining competing religious groups.

A denomination's status as official religion does not always imply that the jurisdiction prohibits the existence or operation of other sects or religious bodies. It all depends upon the government and the level of tolerance the citizens of that country have for other religions. Some countries with official religions have laws that guarantee the freedom of worship, full liberty of conscience, and places of worship for all citizens; and implement those laws more than other countries that do not have an official or established state religion.

Disestablishment

Disestablishment is the process of divesting a church of its status as an organ of the state. Supporters of retaining an established church call themselves "antidisestablishmentarianists" — one of the longest words in the English language.

England

In late-19th-century England there was a campaign by Liberals, dissenters and nonconformists to disestablish the Church of England which was viewed, in the period after civil Chartist activism, as a discriminatory organisation placing employment and other access disabilities on non-members.

The campaigners styled themselves "Liberationists" (the "Liberation Society" was founded by Edward Miall in 1853). Though their campaign failed, nearly all of the legal disabilities of nonconformists were gradually dismantled. The campaign for disestablishment was revived in the 20th century when Parliament rejected the 1929 revision of the Book of Common Prayer, leading to calls for separation of Church and State to prevent political interference in matters of worship. In the late 20th century, reform of the House of Lordsmarker also brought into question the position of the Lords Spiritual. Another issue of controversy is the Act of Settlement 1701 which determines succession to the British monarchy, under which the head of state is also the head of the Church of England.

Scotland

In Scotland, where the Presbyterian Church of Scotlandmarker is the national church, there were similar debates. Antidisestablishmentarian members of the Free Church of Scotland delayed merger with the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland.

Wales

In Wales, four Church of England dioceses were disestablished in 1920, becoming separated from the Church of England in the process and subsequently becoming the Church in Wales.

Ireland

in Ireland (then part of the United Kingdommarker and where the majority of the population were Roman Catholic) the (Anglican) Church of Ireland was disestablished in 1869 (effective 1871).

United States of America

The First Amendment to the US Constitution explicitly forbids the U.S. federal government from enacting any law respecting a religious establishment, and thus forbids either designating an official church for the United States, or interfering with State and local official churches — which were common when the First Amendment was enacted. It did not prevent state governments from establishing official churches. Connecticutmarker continued to do so until it replaced its colonial Charter with the Connecticut Constitution of 1818; Massachusetts retained an establishment of religion in general until 1833. (The Massachusetts system required every man to belong to some church, and pay taxes towards it; while it was formally neutral between denominations, in practice the indifferent would be counted as belonging to the majority denomination, and in some cases religious minorities had trouble being recognized at all.)

The Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, ratified in 1868, makes no mention of religious establishment, but forbids the states to "abridge the privileges or immunities" of U.S. citizens, or to "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law". In the 1947 case of Everson v. Board of Education, the United States Supreme Court held that this later provision incorporates the First Amendment's Establishment Clause as applying to the States, and thereby prohibits state and local religious establishments. The exact boundaries of this prohibition are still disputed, and are a frequent source of cases before the US Supreme Courtmarker — especially as the Court must now balance, on a state (similar, but not equivalent to province) level, the First Amendment prohibitions on government establishment of official religions with the First Amendment prohibitions on government interference with the free exercise of religion. See school prayer for such a controversy in contemporary US politics.

All current U.S. state constitutions include guarantees of religious liberty parallel to the First Amendment, but eight (Arkansasmarker, Marylandmarker, Massachusettsmarker, North Carolinamarker, Pennsylvaniamarker, South Carolinamarker, Tennesseemarker, and Texasmarker) also contain clauses that prohibit atheists from holding public office.However, these clauses have been held by the United States Supreme Courtmarker to be unenforceable in the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins, where the court ruled unanimously that such clauses constituted a religious test incompatible with First and Fourteenth Amendment protections.

Present state religions

Currently, the following religions are recognized as state religions in some countries: some form of Christianity, Islam and Buddhism.

Christian countries

The following states recognize some form of Christianity as their state or official religion (by denomination):

Roman Catholic

Jurisdictions which recognize Roman Catholicism as their state or official religion:

A number of countries, including Andorramarker, Italymarker, Paraguaymarker, Perumarker, Polandmarker, Portugalmarker, Slovakiamarker, and Spainmarker, give a special recognition to Catholicism in their constitution despite not making it the state religion.

Eastern Orthodox

Jurisdictions which recognize one of the Eastern Orthodox Churches as their state religion:
  • Cyprusmarker
  • Greecemarker (Church of Greece)
  • Finlandmarker: Finnish Orthodox Church has a special relationship with the Finnish state. The internal structure of the church is described in the Orthodox Church Act. The church has a power to tax its members and corporations if a majority of shareholders are members. The church does not consider itself a state church, as the state does not have the authority to affect its internal workings or theology.


Oriental Orthodox

Jurisdictions which recognize one of the Oriental Orthodox Churches as their state religion:

Lutheran

Jurisdictions which recognize a Lutheran church as their state religion:
  • Denmarkmarker (Church of Denmark)
  • Icelandmarker (Church of Iceland)
  • Norwaymarker (Church of Norway)
  • Finlandmarker: Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland has a special relationship with the Finnish state, its internal structure being described in a special law, the Church Act. The Church Act can be amended only by a decision of the Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and subsequent ratification by the parliament. The Church Act is protected by the Finnish constitution, and the state can not change the Church Act without changing the constitution. The church has a power to tax its members and all corporations unless a majority of shareholders are members of the Finnish Orthodox Church. The state collects these taxes for the church, for a fee. On the other hand, the church is required to give a burial place for everyone in its graveyards. The Finnish president also decides the themes for the intercession days. The church does not consider itself a state church, as the Finnish state does not have the power to influence its internal workings or its theology, although it has a veto in those changes of the internal structure which require changing the Church Act. Neither does the Finnish state accord any precedence to Lutherans or the Lutheran faith in its own acts.


Anglican

Jurisdictions that recognise an Anglican church as their state religion:

Reformed

Jurisdictions which recognize a Reformed church as their state religion:



Old Catholic

Jurisdictions which recognize an Old Catholic church as their state religion:

Islamic countries

Although the separation of church and state was first theorized by Averroes, most Muslim-majority countries recognize Islam as the state religion, but most of them do not place Sharia Law as the constitution itself .



Sunni Islam



Shi'a Islam

  • Iranmarker (as state-sanctioned religion)


Buddhism as state religion

Governments which recognize Buddhism, either a specific form of, or the whole, as their official religion:

1. Buddhism is the spiritual heritage of Bhutan, which promotes the principles and values of peace, non-violence, compassion and tolerance.

2. The Druk Gyalpo is the protector of all religions in Bhutan.

3. It shall be the responsibility of religious institutions and personalities to promote the spiritual heritage of the country while also ensuring that religion remains separate from politics in Bhutan. Religious institutions and personalities shall remain above politics.

4. The Druk Gyalpo shall, on the recommendation of the Five Lopons, appoint a learned and respected monk ordained in accordance with the Druk-lu, blessed with the nine qualities of a spiritual master and accomplished in ked-dzog, as the Je Khenpo.5. His Holiness the Je Khenpo shall, on the recommendation of the Dratshang Lhentshog, appoint monks blessed with the nine qualities of a spiritual master and accomplished in ked-dzog as the Five Lopons.

6. The members of the Dratshang Lhentshog shall comprise:

 (a) The Je Khenpo as Chairman;

 (b) The Five Lopons of the Zhung Dratshang; and

 (c) The Secretary of the Dratshang Lhentshog who is a civil servant.

7. The Zhung Dratshang and Rabdeys shall continue to receive adequate funds and other facilities from the State.

Additional notes

  • Israelmarker is defined in several of its laws as a "Jewish and democratic state" (medina yehudit ve-demokratit). However, the term "Jewish" is a polyseme that can relate equally to the Jewish people or religion (see: Who is a Jew?). The debate about the meaning of the term Jewish and its legal and social applications is one of the most profound issues with which Israeli society deals. At present, there is no specific law or official statement establishing the Jewish religion as the state's religion. However, the State of Israel supports religious institutions, particularly Orthodox Jewish ones, and recognizes the "religious communities" as carried over from those recognized under the British Mandate. These are: Jewish and Christian (Eastern Orthodox, Latin [Catholic], Gregorian-Armenian, Armenian-Catholic, Syrian [Catholic], Chaldean [Uniate], Greek Catholic Melkite, Maronite, and Syrian Orthodox). The fact that the Muslim population was not defined as a religious community is a vestige of the Ottoman period during which Islam was the dominant religion and does not affect the rights of the Muslim community to practice their faith. At the end of the period covered by this report, several of these denominations were pending official government recognition; however, the Government has allowed adherents of not officially recognized groups freedom to practice. In 1961, legislation gave Muslim Shari'a courts exclusive jurisdiction in matters of personal status. Three additional religious communities have subsequently been recognized by Israeli law – the Druze (prior under Islamic jurisdiction), the Evangelical Episcopal Church, and the Bahá'í.[37495] These groups have their own religious courts as official state courts for personal status matters (see millet system). The structure and goals of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel are governed by Israeli law, but the law does not say explicitly that it is a state Rabbinate. Non-recognition of other streams of Judaism is the cause of some controversy. As of 2007, there is no civil marriage in Israel, although there is recognition of marriages performed abroad.


  • Nepalmarker was once the world's only Hindu state, but has ceased to be so following a declaration by the Parliament in 2006.




  • Many countries indirectly fund the activities of different religious denominations by granting tax-exempt status to churches and religious institutions which qualify as charitable organizations. However, these religions are not established as state religions.


Ancient state religions

Egypt and Sumer

The concept of state religions was known as long ago as the empires of Egyptmarker and Sumer, when every city state or people had its own god or gods. Many of the early Sumerian rulers were priests of their patron city god. Some of the earliest semi-mythological kings may have passed into the pantheon, like Dumuzid, and some later kings came to be viewed as divine soon after their reigns, like Sargon the Great of Akkadmarker. One of the first rulers to be proclaimed a god during his actual reign was Gudea of Lagashmarker, followed by some later kings of Urmarker, such as Shulgi. Often, the state religion was integral to the power base of the reigning government, such as in Egypt, where Pharaohs were often thought of as embodiments of the god Horus.

Persian empire

Zoroastrianism was the state religion of the Sassanid dynasty which lasted until 651, when Persia was conquered by the forces of Islam. However, it persisted as the state religion of the independent state of Hyrcania until the 15th century.

The tiny kingdom of Adiabene in northern Mesopotamia converted to Judaism around 34 AD.

Greek city-states

Many of the Greek city-states also had a 'god' or 'goddess' associated with that city. This would not be the 'only god' of the city, but the one that received special honors. In ancient Greece the city of Athensmarker had Athena, Spartamarker had Artemis, Delosmarker had Apollo and Artemis, and Olympiamarker had Zeus.

Roman Religion and Christianity

In Rome, the office of Pontifex Maximus came to be reserved for the emperor, who was often declared a 'god' posthumously, or sometimes during his reign. Failure to worship the emperor as a god was at times punishable by death, as the Roman government sought to link emperor worship with loyalty to the Empire. Many Christians and Jews were subject to persecution, torture and death in the Roman Empire, because it was against their beliefs to worship the emperor.

In 311, Emperor Galerius, on his deathbed, declared a religious indulgence to Christians throughout the Roman Empire, focusing on the ending of anti-Christian persecution. Constantine I and Licinius, the two Augusti, by the Edict of Milan of 313, enacted a law allowing religious freedom to everyone within the Roman Empire. Furthermore, the Edict of Milan cited that Christians may openly practice their religion unmolested and unrestricted, and provided that properties taken from Christians be returned to them unconditionally. Although the Edict of Milan allowed religious freedom throughout the empire, it did not abolish nor disestablish the Roman state cult (Roman polytheistic paganism). The Edict of Milan was written in such a way as to implore the blessings of the deity.

Constantine called up the First Council of Nicaea in 325, although he was not a baptised Christian until years later. Despite enjoying considerable popular support, Christianity was still not the official state religion in Rome, although it was in some neighboring states such as Armeniamarker and Aksum.

Roman Religion (Neoplatonic Hellenism) was restored for a time by Julian the Apostate from 361 to 363. Julian does not appear to have reinstated the persecutions of the earlier Roman emperors.

Catholic Christianity, as opposed to Arianism and other heretical and schismatic groups, was declared to be the state religion of the Roman Empire on February 27, 380 by the decree De Fide Catolica of Emperor Theodosius I.

Han Dynasty Confucianism

In China, the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) advocated Confucianism as the de facto state religion, establishing tests based on Confucian texts as an entrance requirement into government service. The Han emperors appreciated the societal order which is a central concept of Confucianism. Neo-confucianism returned as the de facto state religion sometime in the 10th century. Note however, there is a debate over whether Confucianism (including Neo-confucianism) is a religion or purely a philosophical system.

Modern era

Empire of Japan

From the Meiji era to the first part of the Showa era, Koshitsu Shinto was established in Japan as the national religion. According to this, the emperor of Japan was an arahitogami, an incarnate divinity and the offspring of goddess Amaterasu. As the emperor was, according to the constitution, "head of the empire" and "supreme commander of the Army and the Navy", every Japanese citizen had to obey his will and show absolute loyalty.

States without any state religion

These states do not profess any state religion, and are generally secular or laic. Countries which officially decline to establish any religion include:



Established churches and former state churches

Country Church Denomination Disestablished
Albaniamarker none since independence N/A n/a
Anhalt Evangelical Church of Anhalt Lutheran 1918
Armeniamarker Armenian Apostolic Church Oriental Orthodox 1921
Austriamarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 1918
Baden Roman Catholic Church and the Evangelical Church of Baden Catholic and Lutheran 1918
Bavariamarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 1918
Boliviamarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 2009
Brazilmarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 1890
Brunswick-Lüneburg Evangelical Lutheran State Church of Brunswick Lutheran 1918
Bulgariamarker Bulgarian Orthodox Church Eastern Orthodox 1946
Chilemarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 1925
Cubamarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 1902
Cyprusmarker Cypriot Orthodox Church Eastern Orthodox 1977
Czechoslovakiamarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 1920
Denmarkmarker Church of Denmark Lutheran no. State religion disestablished.
Englandmarker Church of England Anglican no
Estoniamarker Church of Estonia Eastern Orthodox 1940
Ethiopia Ethiopian Orthodox Church Oriental Orthodox 1974
Finlandmarker Lutheran 1870/1919
Francemarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 1905
Georgiamarker Georgian Orthodox Church Eastern Orthodox 1921
Greecemarker Greek Orthodox Church Eastern Orthodox no
Guatemalamarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 1871
Haitimarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 1987
Hessemarker Evangelical Church of Hesse and Nassau Lutheran 1918
Hungarymarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 1946
Icelandmarker Lutheran Evangelical Church Lutheran no
Irelandmarker Church of Ireland Anglican 1871
Italymarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 1984
Lebanonmarker Maronite Catholic Church/Islam Catholic/Islam no
Liechtensteinmarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic no
Lippemarker Church of Lippe Reformed 1918
Lithuaniamarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 1940
Lübeckmarker North Elbian Evangelical Church Lutheran 1918
Luxembourgmarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic ?
Republic of Macedoniamarker Macedonian Orthodox Church Eastern Orthodox no
Maltamarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic no
Mecklenburg Evangelical Church of Mecklenburg Lutheran 1918
Mexicomarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 1874
Monacomarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic no
Mongoliamarker Tibetan Buddhism n/a 1926
Netherlandsmarker Dutch Reformed Church Reformed 1795
Norwaymarker Church of Norway Lutheran no, (2011-2012?), ref.: http://www.regjeringen.no/nb/dep/kkd/dok/regpubl/stmeld/2007-2008/stmeld-nr-17-2007-2008-.html?id=507168. In this case, only state religion but not state church will be disestablished.
Oldenburgmarker Evangelical Lutheran Church of Oldenburg Lutheran 1918
Panamamarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 1904
Paraguaymarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 1992
Philippinesmarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 1898
Polandmarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 1947
Portugalmarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 1910
Prussia 13 provincial churches Lutheran 1918
Quebecmarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 1960
Romaniamarker Romanian Orthodox Church Eastern Orthodox 1947
Russiamarker Russian Orthodox Church Eastern Orthodox 1917
Thuringiamarker Evangelical Church in Thuringia Lutheran 1918
Saxonymarker Evangelical Church of Saxony Lutheran 1918
Schaumburg-Lippe Evangelical Church of Schaumburg-Lippe Lutheran 1918
Scotlandmarker Church of Scotlandmarker Presbyterian State control disclaimed since 1638. Formally recognised as not an established church in 1921
Serbiamarker Serbian Orthodox Church Eastern ?
Spainmarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 1978
Swedenmarker Church of Sweden Lutheran 2000
Switzerlandmarker none since the adoption of the Federal Constitution (1848) n/a n/a
Turkeymarker Islam Islam 1928
Uruguaymarker Roman Catholic Church Catholic 1919
Waldeckmarker Evangelical Church of Hesse-Kassel and Waldeck Lutheran 1918
Walesmarker Church in Wales Anglican 1920
Württembergmarker Evangelical State Church in Württemberg Lutheran 1918


  1. The Journal of Ecclesiastical History – Page 268 by Cambridge University Press, Gale Group, C.W. Dugmore
  2. Argentina Constitution: Section 2, Constitutional Law.
  3. The Constitution of Costa Rica, TITLE VI: RELIGION, CostaRicaLaw.com.
  4. Constitution of the Principality of Liechtenstein: Article 37(2), digital Liechtenstein.
  5. Malta - Constitution, Constitutional Law, Section 2 [State Religion].
  6. CONSTITUTION DE LA PRINCIPAUTE (French): Art. 9., Principaute De Monaco: Ministère d'Etat.
  7. THE CONSTITUTION OF GREECE : SECTION II RELATIONS OF CHURCH AND STATE, Hellenic Resources network.
  8. Finland - Constitution, Section 76 The Church Act, http://servat.unibe.ch/icl/fi00000_.html.
  9. Denmark - Constitution: Section 4 [State Church], Constitutional Law.
  10. Constitution of the Republic of Iceland: Article 62, Government of Iceland.
  11. Norway - Constitution: Article 2 [Religion, State Religion], Constitutional Law.
  12. Shariah in Somalia – Arab News
  13. : "Article 1 [State] Tunisia is a free State, independent and sovereign; its religion is the Islam, its language is Arabic, and its form is the Republic"
  14. (Article 43)
  15. (Article IV, Section 3e)
  16. Constitution of the Republic of Hungary
  17. The right of thought, the freedom of conscience and religion –Hungary.hu
  18. Draft Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo
  19. The Constitution of Lebanon specifies that the President is elected by the Chamber of Deputies, in which equal representation between Christians and Muslims is constitutionally required, and specifies that the President designates the Prime Minister in consultation with the President of the Chamber of Deputies.
  20. Article 25 of the constitution states: "1. Churches and other religious organizations shall have equal rights. 2. Public authorities in the Republic of Poland shall be impartial in matters of personal conviction"
  21. Under the 1967 Constitution, Roman Catholicism was the state religion (Article 6: "The Roman Catholic Apostolic religion is the state religion, without prejudice to religious freedom, which is guaranteed in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. Official relations of the republic with the Holy See shall be governed by concordats or other bilateral agreements." The 1992 Constitution, which replaced the 1967 one, establishes Paraguay as a secular state, as mentioned in section (1) of Article 24: "Freedom of religion, worship, and ideology is recognized without any restrictions other than those established in this Constitution and the law. The State has no official religion."
  22. Article VI of the North Carolina state constitition
  23. Struggle For Statehood Edward Leo Lyman, Utah History Encyclopedia


Former state churches in British North America

Protestant colonies



Catholic colonies

  • When New France was transferred to Great Britainmarker in 1763, the Roman Catholic Church remained under toleration, but Huguenots were allowed entrance where they had formerly been banned from settlement by Parisian authorities.
  • The Colony of Maryland was founded by a charter granted in 1632 to George Calvert, secretary of state to Charles I, and his son Cecil, both recent converts to Roman Catholicism. Under their leadership many English Catholic gentry families settled in Maryland. However, the colonial government was officially neutral in religious affairs, granting toleration to all Christian groups and enjoining them to avoid actions which antagonized the others. On several occasions low-church dissenters led insurrections which temporarily overthrew the Calvert rule. In 1689, when William and Mary came to the English throne, they acceded to demands to revoke the original royal charter. In 1701 the Church of England was proclaimed, and in the course of the eighteenth century Maryland Catholics were first barred from public office, then disenfranchised, although not all of the laws passed against them (notably laws restricting property rights and imposing penalties for sending children to be educated in foreign Catholic institutions) were enforced, and some Catholics even continued to hold public office.
  • Spanish Florida was ceded to Great Britainmarker in 1763, the British divided Florida into two colonies. Both East and West Florida continued a policy of toleration for the Catholic Residents.


Colonies with no established church



Tabular Summary

Colony Denomination Disestablished
Connecticut Congregational 1818
Georgia Church of England 1789
Maryland Church of England 1776
Massachusetts Congregational 1780
New Brunswickmarker Church of England
New Hampshire Congregational 1790
Newfoundland Church of England
North Carolina Church of England 1776
Nova Scotiamarker Church of England 1850
Prince Edward Islandmarker Church of England
South Carolina Church of England 1790
Canada West Church of England 1854
West Florida Church of England 1783
East Florida Church of England 1783
Virginia Church of England 1786
West Indiesmarker Church of England 1868


In several colonies, the establishment ceased to exist in practice at the Revolution, about 1776; this is the date of permanent legal abolition.

in 1789 the Georgia Constitution was amended as follows:"Article IV. Section 10. No person within this state shall, upon any pretense, be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping God in any manner agreeable to his own conscience, nor be compelled to attend any place of worship contrary to his own faith and judgment; nor shall he ever be obliged to pay tithes, taxes, or any other rate, for the building or repairing any place of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry, contrary to what he believes to be right, or hath voluntarily engaged. To do. No one religious society shall ever be established in this state, in preference to another; nor shall any person be denied the enjoyment of any civil right merely on account of his religious principles."

From 1780 Massachusetts had a system which required every man to belong to a church, and permitted each church to tax its members, but forbade any law requiring that it be of any particular denomination. This was objected to, as in practice establishing the Congregational Church, the majority denomination, and was abolished in 1833.

Until 1877 the New Hampshire Constitution required members of the State legislature to be of the Protestant religion.

The North Carolina Constitution of 1776 disestablished the Anglican church, but until 1835 the NC Constitution allowed only Protestants to hold public office. From 1835-1876 it allowed only Christians (including Catholics) to hold public office. Article VI, Section 8 of the current NC Constitution forbids only atheists from holding public office. Such clauses were held by the United States Supreme Courtmarker to be unenforceable in the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins, when the court ruled unanimously that such clauses constituted a religious test incompatible with First and Fourteenth Amendment protections.

Religious tolerance for Catholics with an established Church of England was policy in the former Spanish Colonies of East and West Florida while under British rule.

In 1783 Peace of Paris, which ended the American Revolutionary War, the British ceded both East and West Florida back to Spain (see Spanish Florida).

Tithes for the support of the Anglican Church in Virginia were suspended in 1776, and never restored. 1786 is the date of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom, which prohibited any coercion to support any religious body.

State of Deseret

The State of Deseret was a provisional state of the United Statesmarker, proposed in 1849 by Mormon settlers in Salt Lake Citymarker. The provisional state existed for slightly over two years, but attempts to gain recognition by the United States government floundered for various reasons. The Utah Territory which was then founded was under Mormon control, and repeated attempts to gain statehood met resistance, in part due to concerns over the principle of separation of church and state conflicting with the practice of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of placing their highest value on "following counsel" in virtually all matters relating to their church-centered lives. The state of Utahmarker was eventually admitted to the union on January 4, 1896, after the various issues had been resolved.

See also



References

  1. The Journal of Ecclesiastical History – Page 268 by Cambridge University Press, Gale Group, C.W. Dugmore
  2. Argentina Constitution: Section 2, Constitutional Law.
  3. The Constitution of Costa Rica, TITLE VI: RELIGION, CostaRicaLaw.com.
  4. Constitution of the Principality of Liechtenstein: Article 37(2), digital Liechtenstein.
  5. Malta - Constitution, Constitutional Law, Section 2 [State Religion].
  6. CONSTITUTION DE LA PRINCIPAUTE (French): Art. 9., Principaute De Monaco: Ministère d'Etat.
  7. THE CONSTITUTION OF GREECE : SECTION II RELATIONS OF CHURCH AND STATE, Hellenic Resources network.
  8. Finland - Constitution, Section 76 The Church Act, http://servat.unibe.ch/icl/fi00000_.html.
  9. Denmark - Constitution: Section 4 [State Church], Constitutional Law.
  10. Constitution of the Republic of Iceland: Article 62, Government of Iceland.
  11. Norway - Constitution: Article 2 [Religion, State Religion], Constitutional Law.
  12. Shariah in Somalia – Arab News
  13. : "Article 1 [State] Tunisia is a free State, independent and sovereign; its religion is the Islam, its language is Arabic, and its form is the Republic"
  14. (Article 43)
  15. (Article IV, Section 3e)
  16. Constitution of the Republic of Hungary
  17. The right of thought, the freedom of conscience and religion –Hungary.hu
  18. Draft Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo
  19. The Constitution of Lebanon specifies that the President is elected by the Chamber of Deputies, in which equal representation between Christians and Muslims is constitutionally required, and specifies that the President designates the Prime Minister in consultation with the President of the Chamber of Deputies.
  20. Article 25 of the constitution states: "1. Churches and other religious organizations shall have equal rights. 2. Public authorities in the Republic of Poland shall be impartial in matters of personal conviction"
  21. Under the 1967 Constitution, Roman Catholicism was the state religion (Article 6: "The Roman Catholic Apostolic religion is the state religion, without prejudice to religious freedom, which is guaranteed in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. Official relations of the republic with the Holy See shall be governed by concordats or other bilateral agreements." The 1992 Constitution, which replaced the 1967 one, establishes Paraguay as a secular state, as mentioned in section (1) of Article 24: "Freedom of religion, worship, and ideology is recognized without any restrictions other than those established in this Constitution and the law. The State has no official religion."
  22. Article VI of the North Carolina state constitition
  23. Struggle For Statehood Edward Leo Lyman, Utah History Encyclopedia


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