Separation of church and state
Overview
 
The concept of the separation of church and state refers to the distance in the relationship between organized religion and the nation state.
The concept of separation has been adopted in a number of countries, to varying degrees depending on the applicable legal structures and prevalent views toward the proper role of religion in society. A similar but typically stricter principle of laïcité
Laïcité
French secularism, in French, laïcité is a concept denoting the absence of religious involvement in government affairs as well as absence of government involvement in religious affairs. French secularism has a long history but the current regime is based on the 1905 French law on the Separation of...

has been applied in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, while some socially secularized countries such as Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 and the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 have maintained constitutional recognition of an official state religion.
Encyclopedia
The concept of the separation of church and state refers to the distance in the relationship between organized religion and the nation state.
The concept of separation has been adopted in a number of countries, to varying degrees depending on the applicable legal structures and prevalent views toward the proper role of religion in society. A similar but typically stricter principle of laïcité
Laïcité
French secularism, in French, laïcité is a concept denoting the absence of religious involvement in government affairs as well as absence of government involvement in religious affairs. French secularism has a long history but the current regime is based on the 1905 French law on the Separation of...

has been applied in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, while some socially secularized countries such as Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 and the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 have maintained constitutional recognition of an official state religion. The concept parallels various other international social and political ideas, including secularism
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

, disestablishment, religious liberty, and religious pluralism
Religious pluralism
Religious pluralism is a loosely defined expression concerning acceptance of various religions, and is used in a number of related ways:* As the name of the worldview according to which one's religion is not the sole and exclusive source of truth, and thus that at least some truths and true values...

. Whitman (2009) observes that in many European countries, the state has, over the centuries, taken over the social roles of the church, leading to a generally secularized public sphere.

Ancient history

Ancient history is replete with examples of the mixing and melding of Church and state. Typically a successful ruler or king would assume various "priestly" titles, in addition to the "temporal" titles that such a position tended to confer. Some examples of this certain Church-state mixing and melding are: the execution of Socrates
Socrates
Socrates was a classical Greek Athenian philosopher. Credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, he is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of later classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon, and the plays of his contemporary ...

, whereby Socrates was sentenced to death by the Athenian state for among other things, "his disrespect for the Gods", the claim of many of the ancient Judean kings
Kings of Judah
The Kings of Judah ruled the ancient Kingdom of Judah after the death of Saul, when the tribe of Judah elevated David to rule over it. After seven years, David became king of a reunited Kingdom of Israel. However, in about 930 BC the united kingdom split, with ten of the twelve Tribes of Israel...

 to rule with a mandate from Heaven, or the Edict of Thessalonica
Edict of Thessalonica
The Edict of Thessalonica, also known as Cunctos populos, was delivered on 27 February 380 by Theodosius I, Gratian, and Valentinian II in order that all their subjects should profess the faith of the bishops of Rome and Alexandria...

, whereby Christianity was officially made the state religion of the Roman Empire
State church of the Roman Empire
The state church of the Roman Empire was a Christian institution organized within the Roman Empire during the 4th century that came to represent the Empire's sole authorized religion. Both the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox churches claim to be the historical continuation of this...

.

Late antiquity

One of the first important contributors to the discussion concerning the proper relationship between Church and state was St. Augustine, who in The City of God, Book XIX, Chapter 17, began an examination of the ideal relationship between the "earthly city" and the "city of God". In this work, Augustine posited that major points of overlap were to be found between the "earthly city" and the "city of God", especially as people need to live together and get along on earth. Thus Augustine held that it was the work of the "temporal city" to make it possible for a "heavenly city" to be established on earth.

Medieval Europe

For centuries, monarchs ruled by the idea of divine right
Divine Right of Kings
The divine right of kings or divine-right theory of kingship is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God...

. Sometimes this began to be used by a monarch to support the notion that the king ruled both his own kingdom and Church within its boundaries, a theory known as caesaropapism
Caesaropapism
Caesaropapism is the idea of combining the power of secular government with, or making it superior to, the spiritual authority of the Church; especially concerning the connection of the Church with government. The term caesaropapism was coined by Max Weber, who defined it as follows: “a secular,...

. On the other side was the Catholic doctrine that the Pope, as the Vicar of Christ on earth, should have the ultimate authority over the Church, and indirectly over the state. Moreover, throughout the Middle Ages the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 claimed the right to depose the Catholic kings of Western Europe and tried to exercise it, sometimes successfully (see the investiture controversy, below), sometimes not, such as was the case with Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 and Henry III
Henry IV of France
Henry IV , Henri-Quatre, was King of France from 1589 to 1610 and King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610. He was the first monarch of the Bourbon branch of the Capetian dynasty in France....

 of Navarre
Navarre
Navarre , officially the Chartered Community of Navarre is an autonomous community in northern Spain, bordering the Basque Country, La Rioja, and Aragon in Spain and Aquitaine in France...

.

In the West, the issue of the separation of church and state during the medieval period centered on monarchs who ruled in the secular sphere but encroached on the Church's rule of the spiritual sphere. This unresolved contradiction in ultimate control of the Church led to power struggles and crises of leadership, notably in the Investiture Controversy
Investiture Controversy
The Investiture Controversy or Investiture Contest was the most significant conflict between Church and state in medieval Europe. In the 11th and 12th centuries, a series of Popes challenged the authority of European monarchies over control of appointments, or investitures, of church officials such...

, which was resolved in the Concordat of Worms
Concordat of Worms
The Concordat of Worms, sometimes called the Pactum Calixtinum by papal historians, was an agreement between Pope Calixtus II and Holy Roman Emperor Henry V on September 23, 1122 near the city of Worms...

 in 1122. By this concordat, the Emperor renounced the right to invest ecclesiastics with ring and crosier, the symbols of their spiritual power, and guaranteed election by the canons of cathedral or abbey and free consecration.

Reformation

At the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

 articulated a doctrine of the two kingdoms
Doctrine of the two kingdoms
Martin Luther's doctrine of the two kingdoms of God teaches that God is the ruler of the whole world and that he rules in two ways....

. According to James Madison
James Madison
James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

, perhaps one of the most important modern proponents of the separation of church and state, Luther's doctrine of the two kingdoms marked the beginning of the modern conception of separation of church and state.

In the 1530s Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

, angered by the Catholic Church's refusal to annul his marriage with his wife Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon , also known as Katherine or Katharine, was Queen consort of England as the first wife of King Henry VIII of England and Princess of Wales as the wife to Arthur, Prince of Wales...

, decided to break with the Church and set himself as ruler of the new Church of England, the Anglican Church, ending the separation that had existed between Church and State in England.

United States

In the United States, the term is an offshoot of the phrase, "wall of separation between church and state," as written in Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

's letter to the Danbury Baptist Association
Baptists in the history of separation of church and state
Separation of church and state is one of the primary theological distinctions of the Baptist tradition.-History:Originally, Baptists supported separation of church and state in England and America...

 in 1802. The original text reads: "... I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State." Jefferson reflected his frequent speaking theme that the government is not to interfere with religion. The phrase was quoted by the United States Supreme Court first in 1878, and then in a series of cases starting in 1947. The phrase "separation of church and state" itself does not appear in the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

. The First Amendment
First Amendment to the United States Constitution
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering...

 states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The upreme Court did not consider the question of how this applied to the states until 1947; when they did, in Everson v. Board of Education
Everson v. Board of Education
Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court which applied the religion clauses in the country's Bill of Rights to state as well as federal law...

, all nine justices agreed that there was a wall of separation between church and state, but a majority held that the present case (a local authority paying to transport parochial students to school), the benefits to the children outweighed the Constitutional objection.
Prior to 1947, however, these provisions were not considered to apply at the state level; indeed in the 1870s and 1890s unsuccessful attempts were made to amend the constitution to accomplish this, but it was accomplished by judicial decision in 1947.

The concept of separating church and state is often credited to the writings of English philosopher John Locke
John Locke
John Locke FRS , widely known as the Father of Liberalism, was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social...

 (1632-1704). According to his principle of the social contract
Social contract
The social contract is an intellectual device intended to explain the appropriate relationship between individuals and their governments. Social contract arguments assert that individuals unite into political societies by a process of mutual consent, agreeing to abide by common rules and accept...

, Locke argued that the government lacked authority in the realm of individual conscience, as this was something rational people could not cede to the government for it or others to control. For Locke, this created a natural right in the liberty of conscience, which he argued must therefore remain protected from any government authority. These views on religious tolerance and the importance of individual conscience, along with his social contract, became particularly influential in the American colonies and the drafting of the United States Constitution.

The concept was implicit in the flight of Roger Williams
Roger Williams (theologian)
Roger Williams was an English Protestant theologian who was an early proponent of religious freedom and the separation of church and state. In 1636, he began the colony of Providence Plantation, which provided a refuge for religious minorities. Williams started the first Baptist church in America,...

 from religious oppression in the Massachusetts Bay Colony
Massachusetts Bay Colony
The Massachusetts Bay Colony was an English settlement on the east coast of North America in the 17th century, in New England, situated around the present-day cities of Salem and Boston. The territory administered by the colony included much of present-day central New England, including portions...

 to found the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was one of the original English Thirteen Colonies established on the east coast of North America that, after the American Revolution, became the modern U.S...

 on the principle of state neutrality in matters of faith.

The Treaty of Tripoli

In 1797, the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 ratified a treaty with Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

 that stated in Article 11:

According to Frank Lambert, Professor of History at Purdue University
Purdue University
Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S., is the flagship university of the six-campus Purdue University system. Purdue was founded on May 6, 1869, as a land-grant university when the Indiana General Assembly, taking advantage of the Morrill Act, accepted a donation of land and...

, the assurances in Article 11 were "intended to allay the fears of the Muslim state by insisting that religion would not govern how the treaty was interpreted and enforced. President John Adams
John Adams
John Adams was an American lawyer, statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States...

 and the Senate made clear that the pact was between two sovereign states, not between two religious powers."

Supporters of the separation of church and state argue that this treaty, which was ratified by the Senate, confirms that the government of the United States was specifically intended to be religiously neutral. The treaty was submitted by President Adams and unanimously ratified by the Senate.

Use of the phrase

The phrase "separation of church and state" is derived from a letter written by President Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to Baptists from Danbury, Connecticut, and published in a Massachusetts newspaper soon thereafter. In that letter, referencing the First Amendment to the United States Constitution
First Amendment to the United States Constitution
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering...

, Jefferson writes:

Another early user of the term was James Madison
James Madison
James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

, the principal drafter of the United States Bill of Rights
United States Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights is the collective name for the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. These limitations serve to protect the natural rights of liberty and property. They guarantee a number of personal freedoms, limit the government's power in judicial and other proceedings, and...

. In a 1789 debate in the House of Representatives regarding the draft of the First Amendment, the following was said:
Madison contended "Because if Religion be exempt from the authority of the Society at large, still less can it be subject to that of the Legislative Body." Several years later he wrote of "total separation of the church from the state." "Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion & Govt in the Constitution of the United States", Madison wrote, and he declared, "practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government is essential to the purity of both, and as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States." In a letter to Edward Livingston
Edward Livingston
Edward Livingston was an American jurist and statesman. He was an influential figure in the drafting of the Louisiana Civil Code of 1825, a civil code based largely on the Napoleonic Code. He represented both New York, and later Louisiana in Congress and he served as the U.S...

 Madison further expanded, "We are teaching the world the great truth that Govts. do better without Kings & Nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson that Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Govt." This attitude is further reflected in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom
Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom
The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was drafted in 1777 by Thomas Jefferson in the city of Fredericksburg, Virginia. In 1786, the Assembly enacted the statute into the state's law...

, originally authored by Jefferson and championed by Madison, and guaranteeing that no one may be compelled to finance any religion or denomination.
Under the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

, the treatment of religion by the government is broken into two clauses: the establishment clause and the free exercise clause. Both are discussed in regard to whether certain state actions would amount to an impermissible government establishment of religion.

The phrase was also mentioned in an eloquent letter written by President John Tyler
John Tyler
John Tyler was the tenth President of the United States . A native of Virginia, Tyler served as a state legislator, governor, U.S. representative, and U.S. senator before being elected Vice President . He was the first to succeed to the office of President following the death of a predecessor...

 on July 10, 1843.

The United States Supreme Court has referenced the separation of church and state metaphor more than 25 times, though not always fully embracing the principle. In Reynolds
Reynolds v. United States
Reynolds v. United States, , was a Supreme Court of the United States case that held that religious duty was not a suitable defense to a criminal indictment...

, the Court denied the free exercise claims of Mormons in the Utah territory who claimed polygamy
Polygamy
Polygamy is a marriage which includes more than two partners...

 was an aspect of their religious freedom. The Court used the phrase again by Justice Hugo Black in 1947 in Everson
Everson v. Board of Education
Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court which applied the religion clauses in the country's Bill of Rights to state as well as federal law...

. The term has been used and defended heavily by the Court, but is not unanimously held. In a minority opinion in Wallace v. Jaffree
Wallace v. Jaffree
Wallace v. Jaffree, , was a United States Supreme Court case deciding on the issue of silent school prayer.An Alabama law authorized teachers to set aside one minute at the start of each day for a moment of "silent meditation or voluntary prayer," and sometimes the teacher of the classroom asked...

, Justice Rehnquist presented the view that the establishment clause was intended to protect local establishments of religion from federal interference. Justice Scalia has criticized the metaphor as a bulldozer removing religion from American public life.

In various countries

Countries have varying degrees of separation between government and religious institutions. Since the 1780s a number of countries have set up explicit barriers between church and state. The degree of actual separation between government and religion or religious institutions varies widely. In some countries the two institutions remain heavily interconnected. There are new conflicts in the post-Communist world.

The many variations on separation can be seen in some countries with high degrees of religious freedom and tolerance combined with strongly secular political cultures which have still maintained state churches or financial ties with certain religious organizations into the 21st century. In England, there is a constitutionally established state religion
State religion
A state religion is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state...

 but other faiths are tolerated. The British monarch is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England
Supreme Governor of the Church of England
The Supreme Governor of the Church of England is a title held by the British monarchs which signifies their titular leadership over the Church of England. Although the monarch's authority over the Church of England is not strong, the position is still very relevant to the church and is mostly...

, and 26 bishops (Lords Spiritual
Lords Spiritual
The Lords Spiritual of the United Kingdom, also called Spiritual Peers, are the 26 bishops of the established Church of England who serve in the House of Lords along with the Lords Temporal. The Church of Scotland, which is Presbyterian, is not represented by spiritual peers...

) sit in the upper house of government, the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

.

In other kingdoms, the head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

 or head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 or other high-ranking official figures may be legally required to be a member of a given faith. Powers to appoint high-ranking members of the state churches are also often still vested in the worldly governments. These powers may be slightly anachronistic or superficial, however, and disguise the true level of religious freedom the nation possesses. In the case of Andorra there are two heads of state, neither of them native Andorrans. One is the Roman Catholic Bishop of Seu d'Urgell, a town located in Catalunya/Spain. He has the title of Episcopalian Coprince (the other Coprince being the French Head of State). Coprinces enjoy political power in terms of law ratification and constitutional court designation, among others.

Australia

The Constitution of Australia
Constitution of Australia
The Constitution of Australia is the supreme law under which the Australian Commonwealth Government operates. It consists of several documents. The most important is the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia...

 prevents the Commonwealth from establishing any religion or requiring a religious test for any office:—
Ch 5 § 116 The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.


The language is derived from the United States' constitution, but has been altered. Following the usual practice of the High Court
High Court of Australia
The High Court of Australia is the supreme court in the Australian court hierarchy and the final court of appeal in Australia. It has both original and appellate jurisdiction, has the power of judicial review over laws passed by the Parliament of Australia and the parliaments of the States, and...

, it has been interpreted far more narrowly than the equivalent US sections and no law has ever been struck down for contravening the section. Today, the Commonwealth Government provides broad-based funding to religious schools and also funds school chaplains for public and private schools. All Australian parliaments are opened with a Christian prayer, and the preamble to the Australian Constitution refers to a "humbl[e] rel[iance] on the blessing of Almighty God."

Although the Australian monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, also British monarch and head of the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

, her Australian title is unrelated to her religious office and she has no role in the Anglican Church of Australia
Anglican Church of Australia
The Anglican Church of Australia is a member church of the Anglican Communion. It was previously officially known as the Church of England in Australia and Tasmania...

. The prohibition against religious tests has allowed former Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane Peter Hollingworth
Peter Hollingworth
Peter John Hollingworth AC, OBE is an Australian Anglican bishop. He served as the Archbishop of Brisbane for 11 years before becoming the 23rd Governor-General of Australia from 2001 until 2003....

 to be appointed Governor-General, the highest domestic constitutional officer; however, this was criticized.

Despite inclusion in the "States" chapter, Section 116 does not apply to states because of changes during drafting, and they are free to establish their own religions. Although no state has ever introduced a state church (NSW restricted religious groups during the early colonial period), the legal body corresponding to many religious organisations is established by state legislation. There have been two referenda to extend Section 116 to states, but both failed. In each case the changes were grouped with other changes and voters did not have the opportunity to expressly accept only one change. Most states permit broad exemptions to religious groups from anti-discrimination legislation; for example, the NSW act allowing same-sex couples to adopt permits religious adoption agencies to refuse them.

The current situation, described as a "principle of state neutrality" rather than "separation of church and state", has been criticised by both secularists and religious groups. On the one hand, secularists have argued that government neutrality to religions leads to a "flawed democrac[y]" or even a "pluralistic theocracy" as the government cannot be neutral towards the religion of people who do not have one. On the other hand, religious groups and others have been concerned that state governments are restricting them from exercising their religion by preventing them from criticising other groups and forcing them to do unconscionable acts.

Brazil

Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 was a colony
Colonial Brazil
In the history of Brazil, Colonial Brazil, officially the Viceroyalty of Brazil comprises the period from 1500, with the arrival of the Portuguese, until 1815, when Brazil was elevated to kingdom alongside Portugal as the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves.During the over 300 years...

 of the Portuguese Empire
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

 from 1500 until the nation's indepencence from Portugal, in 1822, during which time Roman Catholicism was the official state religion. With the rise of the Empire of Brazil , although Catholicism retained its status as the official creed, subsidized by the state, other religions where allowed to flourish, as the 1824 Constitution secured religious freedom. The fall of the Empire, in 1889, gave way to a Republican regime, and a Constitution was enacted in 1891, which severed the ties between church and state; Republican ideologues such as Benjamin Constant
Benjamin Constant (Brazil)
Benjamin Constant Botelho de Magalhães was a Brazilian military man and political thinker.He was born at Niterói....

 and Ruy Barbosa
Ruy Barbosa
Ruy Barbosa de Oliveira was a Brazilian writer, jurist, and politician.Born in Salvador da Bahia, he was a federal representative, senator, Minister of Finance and diplomat. For his distinguished participation in the Hague Peace Conference of 1907, he earned the nickname "Eagle of the Hague"...

 were influenced by laïcité
Laïcité
French secularism, in French, laïcité is a concept denoting the absence of religious involvement in government affairs as well as absence of government involvement in religious affairs. French secularism has a long history but the current regime is based on the 1905 French law on the Separation of...

 in France and the United States. The 1891 Constitutional separation of Church and State has been maintained ever since. The current Constitution of Brazil
Constitution of Brazil
During its independent political history, Brazil has had seven constitutions. The most recent was ratified on October 5, 1988.-Imperial Constitution :Background...

, in force since 1988, ensures the right to religious freedom, bans the establishment of state churches and any relationship of "dependence or alliance" of officials with religious leaders, except for "collaboration in the public interest, defined by law".

France

Laïcité
Laïcité
French secularism, in French, laïcité is a concept denoting the absence of religious involvement in government affairs as well as absence of government involvement in religious affairs. French secularism has a long history but the current regime is based on the 1905 French law on the Separation of...

, a particular product of French history and philosophy, was formalized in the 1905 law providing for the separation of church and state, that is, the separation of religion from political power. But the concept of removing religion to the private space as opposed to the public space of politics and the civil sphere is currently fiercely contested in France, driven, especially, by reactions to various manifestations of Islam, such as wearing the headscarf in schools.

The French version of separation is called laïcité. This model of a secularist state protects the religious institutions from some types of state interference, but with public religious expression also to some extent limited. This aims to protect the public power from the influences of religious institutions, especially in public office. Religious views which contain no idea of public responsibility, or which consider religious opinion irrelevant to politics, are less impinged upon by this type of secularization of public discourse.

President Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy is the 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal 10 days earlier....

 has criticised "negative laicite" (as in Spain) and wants to develop a "positive laicite" that recognizes the contribution of faith to French culture, history and society, allows for faith in the public discourse and for government subsidies for faith-based groups. Sarkozy sees France's main religions as positive contributions to French society. He was elected on a platform proposing a modernisation of the Republic's century-old principle of laicite. He visited the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 in December 2007 and publicly acknowledged France's Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 roots, while highlighting the importance of freedom of thought
Freedom of thought
Freedom of thought is the freedom of an individual to hold or consider a fact, viewpoint, or thought, independent of others' viewpoints....

, hinting that faith
Faith
Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing, or a belief that is not based on proof. In religion, faith is a belief in a transcendent reality, a religious teacher, a set of teachings or a Supreme Being. Generally speaking, it is offered as a means by which the truth of the proposition,...

 should come back into the public sphere
Public sphere
The public sphere is an area in social life where individuals can come together to freely discuss and identify societal problems, and through that discussion influence political action...

.

Nevertheless, there are certain entanglements in France which include:
  • The most striking example consists in two areas, Alsace
    Alsace
    Alsace is the fifth-smallest of the 27 regions of France in land area , and the smallest in metropolitan France. It is also the seventh-most densely populated region in France and third most densely populated region in metropolitan France, with ca. 220 inhabitants per km²...

     and Moselle
    Moselle
    Moselle is a department in the east of France named after the river Moselle.- History :Moselle is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790...

     (see here for further detail), where the Concordat between France and the Holy See still prevails, Catholic priests as well as the clergy of three other religions (Lutheran, Calvinist, and Jewish) are paid by the state, and schools have religion courses. Moreover, the Catholic bishops of Metz
    Metz
    Metz is a city in the northeast of France located at the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers.Metz is the capital of the Lorraine region and prefecture of the Moselle department. Located near the tripoint along the junction of France, Germany, and Luxembourg, Metz forms a central place...

     and Strasburg
    Strasbourg
    Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

     are named (or rather formally appointed) by the French Head of State on proposition of the Pope, which interestingly makes the French President the only temporal power in the world to have retained the right to appoint Catholic bishops, all other catholic bishops being appointed by the Pope.
  • The French President is ex officio a co-prince of Andorra, where Roman Catholicism has a status of state religion (the other co-prince being a Spanish bishop). Moreover, French heads of states are traditionally offered an honorary title of Canon
    Canon (priest)
    A canon is a priest or minister who is a member of certain bodies of the Christian clergy subject to an ecclesiastical rule ....

     of the Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran
    Basilica of St. John Lateran
    The Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran , commonly known as St. John Lateran's Archbasilica and St. John Lateran's Basilica, is the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome and the official ecclesiastical seat of the Bishop of Rome, who is the Pope...

    , Cathedral of Rome. Once this honour has been awarded to a newly elected president, France pays for a choir vicar, a priest who occupies the seat in the canonial chapter of the Cathedral in lieu of the president (all French presidents have been male and Roman Catholic, but if one were not, this honour could most probably not be awarded to him.) The French President also holds a seat in a few other canonial chapters in France.
  • Another example of the complex ties between France and the Catholic Church consists in the Pieux Établissements de la France à Rome et à Lorette: five churches in Rome (Trinità dei Monti
    Trinità dei Monti
    The church of the Santissima Trinità dei Monti is a late Renaissance titular church in Rome, central Italy. It is best known for its commanding position above the Spanish Steps which lead down to the Piazza di Spagna...

    , St. Louis of the French, St. Ivo of the Bretons, St. Claude of the Free County of Burgundy, and St. Nicholas of the Lorrains) as well as a chapel in Loreto belong to France, and are administered and paid for by a special foundation linked to the French embassy to the Holy See.
  • In Wallis and Futuna
    Wallis and Futuna
    Wallis and Futuna, officially the Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands , is a Polynesian French island territory in the South Pacific between Tuvalu to the northwest, Rotuma of Fiji to the west, the main part of Fiji to the southwest, Tonga to the southeast,...

    , a French overseas territory, national education is conceded to the diocese, which gets paid for it by the State.

Turkey

Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, whose population is overwhelmingly Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

, is also considered to have practiced the laïcité school of secularism since 1928. Like laïcité in France, there are some notable entanglements in Turkey:
  • Despite Turkey being an officially secular country, the Preamble of the Constitution states that "there shall be no interference whatsoever of the sacred religious feelings in State affairs and politics."
  • In order to control the way religion is perceived by adherents, the State pays imams' wages (only for Sunni Muslims), and provides religious education (of the Sunni Muslim variety) in public schools. The State has a Department of Religious Affairs, directly under the Prime Minister
    Prime minister
    A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

     bureaucratically, responsible for organizing the Sunni Muslim
    Muslim
    A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

     religion - including what will and will not be mentioned in sermons given at mosque
    Mosque
    A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

    s, especially on Fridays. Such an interpretation of secularism, where religion is under strict control of the State is very different from that of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution
    First Amendment to the United States Constitution
    The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering...

    , and is a good example of how secularism can be applied in a variety of ways in different regions of the world.

Japan

Shinto
Shinto
or Shintoism, also kami-no-michi, is the indigenous spirituality of Japan and the Japanese people. It is a set of practices, to be carried out diligently, to establish a connection between present day Japan and its ancient past. Shinto practices were first recorded and codified in the written...

 was closely associated with the state
State Shinto
has been called the state religion of the Empire of Japan, although it did not exist as a single institution and no "Shintō" was ever declared a state religion...

 and the Emperor
Emperor of Japan
The Emperor of Japan is, according to the 1947 Constitution of Japan, "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people." He is a ceremonial figurehead under a form of constitutional monarchy and is head of the Japanese Imperial Family with functions as head of state. He is also the highest...

, especially during the time between the Meiji Restoration
Meiji Restoration
The , also known as the Meiji Ishin, Revolution, Reform or Renewal, was a chain of events that restored imperial rule to Japan in 1868...

 and the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Under the American military occupation (1945–52) separation of religion and state became a major priority.

China, P.R.C.

China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 during the era of the Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 had established Confucianism
Confucius
Confucius , literally "Master Kong", was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher of the Spring and Autumn Period....

 as the official state ideology over that of Legalism
Legalism (Chinese philosophy)
In Chinese history, Legalism was one of the main philosophic currents during the Warring States Period, although the term itself was invented in the Han Dynasty and thus does not refer to an organized 'school' of thought....

 of the preceding Qin Dynasty
Qin Dynasty
The Qin Dynasty was the first imperial dynasty of China, lasting from 221 to 207 BC. The Qin state derived its name from its heartland of Qin, in modern-day Shaanxi. The strength of the Qin state was greatly increased by the legalist reforms of Shang Yang in the 4th century BC, during the Warring...

 over two millennium ago. In post-1949 modern-day China, owing to such historic experiences as the Taiping Rebellion
Taiping Rebellion
The Taiping Rebellion was a widespread civil war in southern China from 1850 to 1864, led by heterodox Christian convert Hong Xiuquan, who, having received visions, maintained that he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ, against the ruling Manchu-led Qing Dynasty...

, the Chinese Communist Party had no diplomatic relations with the Vatican
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

 for over half a century, and maintained separation of the church from state affairs, and although the Chinese government's methods are disputed by the Vatican, Pope Benedict
Pope Benedict
Benedict is the regnal name of the current Roman pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI and has been the name of fourteen other popes :*Pope Benedict I *Pope Benedict II...

 had accepted the ordination of a bishop who was pre-selected by the government for the Patriotic Chinese Church in 2007, however a new ordination of a Catholic bishop in November 2010 according to BBC News
BBC News
BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

, has threatened to "damage ties" between China and the Vatican.

Mexico

The issue of the role of the Catholic Church in Mexico has been highly divisive since the 1820s. Its large land holdings were especially a point of contention. Mexico was guided toward what was proclaimed a separation of church and state by Benito Juárez
Benito Juárez
Benito Juárez born Benito Pablo Juárez García, was a Mexican lawyer and politician of Zapotec origin from Oaxaca who served five terms as president of Mexico: 1858–1861 as interim, 1861–1865, 1865–1867, 1867–1871 and 1871–1872...

 who, in 1859, attempted to eliminate the role of the Roman Catholic Church in the nation by appropriating its land and prerogatives.
In 1859 the Ley Lerdo was issued - purportedly separating church and state, but actually involving state intervention in Church matters by abolishing monastic orders, and nationalizing church property.
In 1926, after several years of the revolutionary war and insecurity, President Plutarco Elias Calles
Plutarco Elías Calles
Plutarco Elías Calles was a Mexican general and politician. He was president of Mexico from 1924 to 1928, but he continued to be the de facto ruler from 1928–1935, a period known as the maximato...

, an atheist, enacted the Calles Law
Calles Law
The Calles' Law, or Law for Reforming the Penal Code, was a reform of the penal code in Mexico under the presidency of Plutarco Elias Calles. The code reinforced strong restrictions against clerics and the Catholic Church put forth under Article 130 of the Mexican Constitution of 1917. Article 130...

, which eradicated all the personal property of the churches, closed churches that were not registered with the State, and prohibited clerics from holding a public office. The law was unpopular; and several protesters from rural areas, fought against federal troops in what became known as the Cristero War
Cristero War
The Cristero War of 1926 to 1929 was an uprising and counter-revolution against the Mexican government in power at that time. The rebellion was set off by the strict enforcement of the anti-clerical provisions of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 and the expansion of further anti-clerical laws...

.
After the war's end in 1929, President Emilio Portes Gil
Emilio Portes Gil
Emilio Cándido Portes Gil was President of Mexico from 1928 to 1930.-Biography:Portes Gil was born in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of the state of Tamaulipas in northeast Mexico....

 upheld a previous truce where the law would remain enacted, but not enforced, in exchange for the hostilities to end. Ever since, the Catholic Church has remained active through the National Action Party (Mexico)
National Action Party
National Action Party may mean:*National Action Party *National Action Party *National Action Party *National Action Party...

. The party gained a major foothold in 2000 when President Vicente Fox
Vicente Fox
Vicente Fox Quesada is a Mexican former politician who served as President of Mexico from 1 December 2000 to 30 November 2006 and currently serves as co-President of the Centrist Democrat International, an international organization of Christian democratic political parties.Fox was elected...

 was elected, ending 70 years of unbroken rule from the Institutional Revolutionary Party
Institutional Revolutionary Party
The Institutional Revolutionary Party is a Mexican political party that held power in the country—under a succession of names—for more than 70 years. The PRI is a member of the Socialist International, as is the rival Party of the Democratic Revolution , making Mexico one of the few...

.

Norway

In Norway, the King is also the leader of the state church
Church of Norway
The Church of Norway is the state church of Norway, established after the Lutheran reformation in Denmark-Norway in 1536-1537 broke the ties to the Holy See. The church confesses the Lutheran Christian faith...

, and the 12th article of the Constitution of Norway
Constitution of Norway
The Constitution of Norway was first adopted on May 16, 1814 by the Norwegian Constituent Assembly at Eidsvoll , then signed and dated May 17...

 requires more than half of the members of the Norwegian Council of State
Norwegian Council of State
The Norwegian Council of State consists, according to the constitution of the prime minister and at least seven other ministers, the majority of which must belong to the state church. The current number of ministers is 20.-External links:*...

 to be members of the state church. Yet, the second article guarantees freedom of religion, while also stating that Evangelical Lutheranism
Church of Norway
The Church of Norway is the state church of Norway, established after the Lutheran reformation in Denmark-Norway in 1536-1537 broke the ties to the Holy See. The church confesses the Lutheran Christian faith...

 is the official state religion. l

Germany

The German constitution
Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany
The Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany is the constitution of Germany. It was formally approved on 8 May 1949, and, with the signature of the Allies of World War II on 12 May, came into effect on 23 May, as the constitution of those states of West Germany that were initially included...

 guarantees freedom of religion, but there is not a complete separation of church and state in Germany. Officially recognized churches operate as Körperschaft des öffentlichen Rechts (corporations of public, as opposed to private law). For recognized religious communities, some taxes are collected by the state; this is at the request of the religious community and a fee is charged for the service. Religious instruction is a normal school subject in Germany. The German State understands itself as neutral in matters of religious beliefs, so no teacher can be forced to teach religion. But on the other hand, all who do teach religious instruction need an official permission by their religious community. The treaties with the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

 are referred to as concordats
Concordats with individual states of Germany
Concordats with individual German states were concluded even prior to the unification of Germany in the 1870s.* Bavaria 1817* Prussia 1821* Würtemberg, Baden, Hesse, Nassau, free city of Frankfurt, Mainz, Saxony, Oldenburg, Waldeck, Bremen and Lübeck 1821 , and again 1827* Oldenburg 1830* Hannover...

. They are the legal framework for the cooperation of church and state in Germany.

Philippines

In Article 2 "Declaration of Principles and State Policies", Section VI, the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines repeats the phrase from the 1973 and 1935 constitutions, "The separation of Churh and State shall be inviolable." In practice, the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines still exerts considerable influence on Filipino politics and public opinion. This arrangement may be construed a vestige of the Spanish-era "friarocracy," where clergymen had varying degrees of temporal power and control over the secular economy. Recent examples of their continued presence in public life are the 1986 People Power Revolution and the current debate over the Reproductive Health Bill
Reproductive Health Bill (Philippines)
The Reproductive Health bills, popularly known as the RH Bill, are Philippine bills aiming to guarantee universal access to methods and information on birth control and maternal care. The bills have become the center of a contentious national debate. There are presently two bills with the same...

.

During elections
Elections in the Philippines
The Philippines elects on national level a head of state and a legislature. The president is elected for a six-year term by the people. The vice-president is elected at the same time on a separate ballot...

, the Iglesia Ni Cristo
Iglesia ni Cristo
Iglesia ni Cristo also known as INC, is the largest entirely indigenous Christian religious organization that originated from the Philippines and the largest independent church in Asia. Due to a number of similarities, some Protestant writers describe the INC's doctrines as restorationist in...

 and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal
Catholic Charismatic Renewal
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal is a movement within the Catholic Church. Worship is characterized by vibrant Masses, as well as prayer meetings featuring prophecy, healing and "praying in tongues." This movement is based on the belief that certain charismata , bestowed by the Holy Spirit, such as...

 movement El Shaddai
El Shaddai (movement)
El Shaddai is a Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement from the Philippines founded by Mariano Mike Velarde, known as Brother Mike.- History :...

 both practise block voting
Block voting
Block voting and Bloc voting may refer to:*Plurality-at-large voting, a voting system with multiple winners and a checkbox ballot*Preferential block voting, a voting system with multiple winners and a preferential ballot...

, albeit more enforced in the former than the latter. Politicians are said to woo the groups' respective leaders into giving their endorsement or "basbás" (literally "blessing/approval"), as the number of votes of their members could translate into crucial swing vote
Swing vote
Swing vote is a term used to describe a vote that may go to any of a number of candidates in an election, or, in a two-party system, may go to either of the two dominant political parties...

s.

Spain

Commentators have posited that the form of church-state separation enacted in France in 1905 and found in the Spanish Constitution of 1931
Spanish Constitution of 1931
The Spanish Constitution of 1931 meant the beginning of the Second Spanish Republic, the second period of Spanish history to date in which the election of both the positions of Head of State and Head of government were democratic. It was effective from 1931 until 1939...

 are of a "hostile" variety, noting that the hostility of the state toward the church was a cause of the breakdown of democracy and the onset of the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

.

United Kingdom

The Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 (Anglican church) is still nominally an established church, and the British monarch
British monarchy
The monarchy of the United Kingdom is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories. The present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has reigned since 6 February 1952. She and her immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial and representational duties...

 is the titular head of the Anglican church, and cannot be a Catholic. They were once unable to marry a Catholic as well, but in October 2011, this law was abolished. In England, Church appointments are Crown appointments, the Church carries out important state functions such as coronations, and a number of high Church officials have seats in the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 (26 out of a total of 789 members), and are known as the Lords Spiritual
Lords Spiritual
The Lords Spiritual of the United Kingdom, also called Spiritual Peers, are the 26 bishops of the established Church of England who serve in the House of Lords along with the Lords Temporal. The Church of Scotland, which is Presbyterian, is not represented by spiritual peers...

 as opposed to the Lords Temporal. The links between church and state in the UK are, nowadays, mostly a formality and the governance of the UK is relatively secular.

The Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
The Church of Ireland is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. The church operates in all parts of Ireland and is the second largest religious body on the island after the Roman Catholic Church...

 was disestablished as early as 1871; the Church in Wales
Church in Wales
The Church in Wales is the Anglican church in Wales, composed of six dioceses.As with the primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Archbishop of Wales serves concurrently as one of the six diocesan bishops. The current archbishop is Barry Morgan, the Bishop of Llandaff.In contrast to the...

 was disestablished in 1920.

As there is no written constitution, there is no constitutional principle of freedom of religious exercise as there is in other countries, such as Germany and the United States. However, under various laws, such as the Human Rights Act 1998
Human Rights Act 1998
The Human Rights Act 1998 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom which received Royal Assent on 9 November 1998, and mostly came into force on 2 October 2000. Its aim is to "give further effect" in UK law to the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights...

 and the Equality Act 2010, religious groups are free to associate, worship, promote and publish their views alongside the established churches.

Religious views

Beyond law and philosophy, some Christians refuse to vote, carry arms, or participate in civil government in any way, often leading to their persecution, as happened to Anabaptist
Anabaptist
Anabaptists are Protestant Christians of the Radical Reformation of 16th-century Europe, and their direct descendants, particularly the Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, and Mennonites....

s, their descendants including the Amish
Amish
The Amish , sometimes referred to as Amish Mennonites, are a group of Christian church fellowships that form a subgroup of the Mennonite churches...

 and Mennonites, Quakers, and, in the 20th Century, Jehovah's Witnesses
Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses
Throughout Jehovah's Witnesses' history, their beliefs, doctrines and practices have engendered controversy and opposition from local governments, communities, and religious groups....

 in many countries, believing by not participating they are closer to the Kingdom of God
Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven is a foundational concept in the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.The term "Kingdom of God" is found in all four canonical gospels and in the Pauline epistles...

, since "Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 answered (Pilate), 'My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight (to defend him).' " - John 18:36. For them, the term "Christian nation" cannot be a valid governmental position, leaving only Christian people, possibly in Christian communities, beyond which are the "things which are Caesar's" - Matthew 22:21.

Ahmadiyya

According to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the larger of two communities that arose from the Ahmadiyya movement founded in 1889 in India by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian . The original movement split into two factions soon after the death of the founder...

's understanding of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, Islamic principles state that the politics of government should be separate from the doctrine of religion. Special preference should not be given to a Muslim over a non-Muslim.

Catholicism

The Catholic Church teaches, in Dignitatis Humanae, the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on Religious Freedom, that all people are entitled to religious freedom and that such freedom should be recognized in constitutional law. While the Church teaches that church-state separation is permissible, it does not endorse a separation of religion and politics, as it is the position of the Church that the proper role for religion, and the Church in particular, to guide and inform consciences, thereby serving as check and balance to the power of the state. The Church teaches that the right of religious freedom (enshrined in the U.S.'s "free exercise clause") is doctrinal, while the question of the degree of separation of church from the state such as a prohibition on an established religion (enshrined in the U.S.'s "establishment clause") is variable, depending upon the history of a nation; hence it is acceptable and consistent with religious freedom for countries such as England, Malta, Costa Rica, and Denmark to have an established religion as long as they grant religious freedom to all:

If, under consideration of historical circumstances among peoples, special civil recognition is given to one religious community in the constitutional order of a society, it is necessary at the same time that the right of all citizens and religious communities to religious freedom should be acknowledged and maintained.

Friendly and hostile separation

Scholars have distinguished between what can be called "friendly" and "hostile" separations of church and state.
The French separation of 1905 and the Spanish separation of 1931 have been characterized as the two most hostile of the twentieth century, although the current schemes in both countries are considered generally friendly. France's President Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy is the 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal 10 days earlier....

 at the beginning of his term, however, considered the current scheme a "negative laicite" and wanted to develop a "positive laicite" more open to religion. The concerns of the state toward religion have been seen by some as one cause of the civil war in Spain and Mexico
Cristero War
The Cristero War of 1926 to 1929 was an uprising and counter-revolution against the Mexican government in power at that time. The rebellion was set off by the strict enforcement of the anti-clerical provisions of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 and the expansion of further anti-clerical laws...

.

The French philosopher and Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly . The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled...

 drafter Jacques Maritain
Jacques Maritain
Jacques Maritain was a French Catholic philosopher. Raised as a Protestant, he converted to Catholicism in 1906. An author of more than 60 books, he helped to revive St. Thomas Aquinas for modern times and is a prominent drafter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights...

 noted the distinction between the models found in France and in the mid-twentieth century United States.
He considered the US model of that time to be more amicable because it had both "sharp distinction and actual cooperation" between church and state, what he called "an historical treasure" and admonished the United States, "Please to God that you keep it carefully, and do not let your concept of separation veer round to the European one." Alexis de Tocqueville
Alexis de Tocqueville
Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville was a French political thinker and historian best known for his Democracy in America and The Old Regime and the Revolution . In both of these works, he explored the effects of the rising equality of social conditions on the individual and the state in...

, another French observer tended to make the same distinction, “In the U.S., from the beginning, politics and religion were in accord, and they have not ceased to be so since."

American examples

  • First Amendment to the United States Constitution
    First Amendment to the United States Constitution
    The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering...

  • Separation of church and state in the United States
    Separation of church and state in the United States
    The phrase "separation of church and state" , attributed to Thomas Jefferson and others, and since quoted by the Supreme Court of the United States, expresses an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States...


Historical:
  • William Bradford (1590-1657)
    William Bradford (1590-1657)
    William Bradford was an English leader of the settlers of the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts, and served as governor for over 30 years after John Carver died. His journal was published as Of Plymouth Plantation...

    , Plymouth Colony
    Plymouth Colony
    Plymouth Colony was an English colonial venture in North America from 1620 to 1691. The first settlement of the Plymouth Colony was at New Plymouth, a location previously surveyed and named by Captain John Smith. The settlement, which served as the capital of the colony, is today the modern town...

  • Roger Williams (theologian)
    Roger Williams (theologian)
    Roger Williams was an English Protestant theologian who was an early proponent of religious freedom and the separation of church and state. In 1636, he began the colony of Providence Plantation, which provided a refuge for religious minorities. Williams started the first Baptist church in America,...

    , Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
    Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
    The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was one of the original English Thirteen Colonies established on the east coast of North America that, after the American Revolution, became the modern U.S...

  • William Penn
    William Penn
    William Penn was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was an early champion of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful...

    , Province of Pennsylvania
    Province of Pennsylvania
    The Province of Pennsylvania, also known as Pennsylvania Colony, was founded in British America by William Penn on March 4, 1681 as dictated in a royal charter granted by King Charles II...

     (inc. Delaware Colony
    Delaware Colony
    Delaware Colony in the North American Middle Colonies was a region of the Province of Pennsylvania although never legally a separate colony. From 1682 until 1776 it was part of the Penn proprietorship and was known as the lower counties...

    )

General

  • 1905 French law on the Separation of the Churches and the State
  • Age of Enlightenment
    Age of Enlightenment
    The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

  • American Enlightenment
    American Enlightenment
    The American Enlightenment is the intellectual thriving period in America in the mid-to-late 18th century, especially as it relates to American Revolution on the one hand and the European Enlightenment on the other...

  • American Center for Law and Justice
    American Center for Law and Justice
    The American Center for Law & Justice is a conservative Christian, pro-life group that was founded in 1990 by evangelical Pat Robertson.-History:...

  • Antidisestablishmentarianism
    Antidisestablishmentarianism
    Antidisestablishmentarianism is a political position that originated in 19th-century Britain in opposition to proposals for the disestablishment of the Church of England, that is, to remove the Anglican Church's status as the state church of England, Ireland, and Wales.The establishment was...

  • Christian anarchism
    Christian anarchism
    Christian anarchism is a movement in political theology that combines anarchism and Christianity. It is the belief that there is only one source of authority to which Christians are ultimately answerable, the authority of God as embodied in the teachings of Jesus...

  • Christian Reconstructionism
    Christian Reconstructionism
    Christian Reconstructionism is a religious and theological movement within Evangelical Christianity that calls for Christians to put their faith into action in all areas of life, within the private sphere of life and the public and political sphere as well...

  • Doctrine of the two kingdoms
    Doctrine of the two kingdoms
    Martin Luther's doctrine of the two kingdoms of God teaches that God is the ruler of the whole world and that he rules in two ways....

  • Freedom of religion
    Freedom of religion
    Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance; the concept is generally recognized also to include the freedom to change religion or not to follow any...

  • Human-Etisk Forbund
    Human-Etisk Forbund
    The Norwegian Humanist Association is currently one of the largest Humanist associations in the world, with 82,890 members. In relation to the size of the national population , it is by far the largest such association per capita.Founded in 1956, the HEF is a member of the International Humanist...

  • Pledge of Allegiance criticism
    Pledge of Allegiance criticism
    The criticism of the Pledge of Allegiance of the United States exists on several grounds. Its use in public schools has been the most controversial, as critics contend that a government-sanctioned endorsement of religion violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S....

  • Religious toleration
    Religious toleration
    Toleration is "the practice of deliberately allowing or permitting a thing of which one disapproves. One can meaningfully speak of tolerating, ie of allowing or permitting, only if one is in a position to disallow”. It has also been defined as "to bear or endure" or "to nourish, sustain or preserve"...

  • Render unto Caesar...
    Render unto Caesar...
    "Render unto Caesar…" is the beginning of a phrase attributed to Jesus in the synoptic gospels, which reads in full, "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's" ....

  • Secular state
    Secular state
    A secular state is a concept of secularism, whereby a state or country purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. A secular state also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion, and claims to avoid preferential...

  • Sphere sovereignty
    Sphere sovereignty
    In Neo-Calvinism, sphere sovereignty is the concept that each sphere of life has its own distinct responsibilities and authority or competence, and stands equal to other spheres of life. Sphere sovereignty involves the idea of an all encompassing created order, designed and governed by God...

  • Status of religious freedom by country
    Status of religious freedom by country
    -Afghanistan:The current government of Afghanistan has only been in place since 2002, following a U.S.-led invasion which displaced the former Taliban government...

  • Mandate of heaven
    Mandate of Heaven
    The Mandate of Heaven is a traditional Chinese philosophical concept concerning the legitimacy of rulers. It is similar to the European concept of the divine right of kings, in that both sought to legitimaze rule from divine approval; however, unlike the divine right of kings, the Mandate of...


Christianity and Separation of a Church and State

  • Baptists in the history of separation of church and state
    Baptists in the history of separation of church and state
    Separation of church and state is one of the primary theological distinctions of the Baptist tradition.-History:Originally, Baptists supported separation of church and state in England and America...


Islam and secularism debate

  • Mutaween
    Mutaween
    The word mutaween most literally means "volunteers" in the Arabic language, and is commonly used as a casual term for the government-authorized or government-recognized religious police of Saudi Arabia....

     (Religious police)
  • Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society
    Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society
    The Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society is an organization of writers that promotes the ideas of secularism, democracy and human rights within Islamic society. It is part of the Center for Inquiry....

  • Islamic leadership
    Islamic leadership
    After Muhammad's death, the disputed question of who should be the successor to Muhammad's political authority led eventually to the division of Islam into Sunni and Shia....

  • Progressive Muslim Union
    Progressive Muslim Union
    The Progressive Muslim Union of North America was a liberal Islamic organization. The group officially launched on November 15, 2004 in Manhattan but was disbanded in December 2006...

  • Ayatollah Mohamed Hossein Kazemini Borujerdi
  • Democratic Muslims in Denmark
    Democratic Muslims in Denmark
    Democratic Muslims is a political movement in Denmark founded by Naser Khader, Yildiz Akdogan and other Muslims in February 2006 after the escalation of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy. Its goal is a peaceful co-existence of Islam and democracy...

  • Muslim Canadian Congress
    Muslim Canadian Congress
    The Muslim Canadian Congress was organized to provide a voice to Muslims who support a "progressive, liberal, pluralistic, democratic, and secular society where everyone has the freedom of religion." The organization claimed to have 300 dues-paying members prior to its 2006 split.-Origins:It was...


Further reading

  • Feldman, Noah. "Religion and the Earthly City", Social Research, Winter 2009, Vol. 76 Issue 4, pp 989–1000
  • Taylor, Charles. "The Polysemy of the Secular", Social Research, Winter 2009, Vol. 76 Issue 4, pp 1143–1166
  • Whitman, James Q. "Separating Church and State: The Atlantic Divide", Historical Reflections, Winter 2008, Vol. 34 Issue 3, pp 86–104

United States

  • Shalev, Eran, "‘A Perfect Republic’: The Mosaic Constitution in Revolutionary New England, 1775–1788," New England Quarterly, 82 (June 2009), 235–63.
  • Stone, Geoffrey R., "The World of the Framers: A Christian Nation?," UCLA Law Review, 56 (Oct. 2008), 1–26.
  • Weaver, C. Douglas. "Baptists and the First Amendment: An Historical Overview", Baptist History and Heritage, Summer 2008, Vol. 43 Issue 3, pp 8–26

External links

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