secular state
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A secular state is an idea pertaining to
secularity Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latiu ...
, whereby a
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
is or purports to be officially neutral in matters of
religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involuntary. Etymology ...

religion
, supporting neither religion nor
irreligion Irreligion or nonreligion is the absence or rejection of religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it o ...

irreligion
. A secular state claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion, and claims to avoid preferential treatment for a citizen based on their religious beliefs, affiliation or lack of either over those with other profiles. Secular states do not have a
state religion A state religion (also called an established religion or official religion) is a religion, religious body or creed officially endorsed by the Sovereign state, state. A state with an official religion, while not secular state, secular, is not neces ...
/preferred religion (e.g., an established religion) or an equivalent, although the absence of an established state religion does not necessarily imply that a state is fully secular or egalitarian in all respects. For example, some states that describe themselves as secular have religious references in their national anthems and flags, or laws which advantage one religion or another.


Origin and practice

Secularity can be established at a state's creation (e.g., the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a Political union, union of multiple national Republics of t ...
, the United States, India) or by it later secularizing (e.g., France or Nepal). Movements for ''
laïcité (; 'secularism Secularism the principle seeking to conduct human affairs based on secular, naturalistic considerations. It is most commonly defined as the separation of religion from civic affairs and the state, and may be broadened to a ...
'' in France and
separation of church and state The separation of church and state is a philosophic and Jurisprudence, jurisprudential concept for defining political distance in the relationship between religious organizations and the State (polity), state. Conceptually, the term refers to the ...
in the United States have defined modern concepts of secularism, the United States of America being the first explicitly secular nation both in Western and world history. Historically, the process of secularisation typically involves granting religious freedom, disestablishing state religions, stopping public funds being used for religion, freeing the legal system from religious control, freeing up the education system, tolerating citizens who change religion or abstain from religion, and allowing political leaders to come to power regardless of their religious beliefs. In France, Italy, and Spain, for example, official holidays for the public administration tend to be Christian
feast day The calendar of saints is the traditional Christian method of organizing a liturgical year by associating each day with one or more saint In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of Q-D-Š, ho ...
s. Any private school in France that contracts with ''Éducation nationale'' means its teachers are salaried by the state—most of the
Catholic school Catholic school is a Christian school, Christian parochial school or education ministry administered by adherents of the Catholic Church. , the Catholic Church operates the world's largest religious, non-governmental school system. In 2016, the c ...
s are in this situation and, because of history, they are the majority; however, any other religious or non-religious schools also contract this way. In some European states where secularism confronts monoculturalist
philanthropy Philanthropy consists of "private initiatives, for the Public good (economics), public good, focusing on quality of life". Philanthropy contrasts with business initiatives, which are private initiatives for private good, focusing on material gain, ...

philanthropy
, some of the main Christian sects and sects of other religions depend on the state for some of the financial resources for their
religious charities Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, shrine, sanctified places, prophecy, prophecies, ethics in religion, ...
. It is common in
corporate law Corporate law (also known as business law or enterprise law or sometimes company law) is the body of law governing the rights, relations, and conduct of persons, companies, organizations and businesses. The term refers to the legal pract ...
and
charity law A charitable organization or charity is an organization whose primary objectives are philanthropy and social well-being (e.g. educational, Religion, religious or other activities serving the public interest or common good). The legal definition ...
to prohibit
organized religion Organized religion (or organised religion—see spelling differences), also known as institutional religion, is religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality ...
from using those funds to organize religious worship in a separate
place of worship A place of worship is a specially designed structure or space where individuals or a group of people such as a congregation A congregation is a large gathering of people, often for the purpose of worship Worship is an act of religion, religiou ...

place of worship
or for
conversion Conversion or convert may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Conversion (Doctor Who audio), "Conversion" (''Doctor Who'' audio), an episode of the audio drama ''Cyberman'' * Conversion (Stargate Atlantis), "Conversion" (''Stargate Atlantis ...
; the religious body itself must provide the religious content, educated clergy and
layperson In religious organizations, the laity consists of all members who are not part of the clergy Clergy are formal leaders within established religions. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presidin ...
s to exercise its own functions and may choose to devote part of their time to the separate charities. To that effect, some of those charities establish secular organizations that manage part of or all of the donations from the main religious bodies. Religious and non-religious organizations can apply for equivalent funding from the government and receive subsidies based on either assessed social results where there is indirect religious state funding, or simply the number of
beneficiaries A beneficiary (also, in trust law, ''cestui que use'') in the broadest sense is a natural person or other legal entity who receives money or other employee benefit, benefits from a benefactor (law), benefactor. For example, the beneficiary of a life ...
of those organizations. This resembles charitable choice in the United States. It is doubtful whether overt direct state funding of religions is in accordance with the
European Convention on Human Rights The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR; formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) is an international convention to protect human rights and political freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by th ...
. Apparently, this issue has not yet been decided at a supranational level in
ECtHR case law
ECtHR case law
stemming from the rights in the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is a multilateral treaty adopted by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2200A (XXI) on 16 December 1966, and in force from 23 March 1976 in accordance with Article 49 of the c ...
, which mandates
non-discrimination Discrimination is the act of making unjustified distinctions between human beings based on the groups, classes, or other categories to which they are perceived to belong. People may be discriminated on the basis of race, gender Gender is th ...
in affording its co-listed basic social rights. Specifically, funding certain services would not accord with non-discriminatory state action. Many states that are nowadays secular in practice may have legal vestiges of an earlier
established religion A state religion (also called an established religion or official religion) is a religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews ...
. Secularism also has various guises that may coincide with some degree of official religiosity. In the United Kingdom, the head of state is still required to take the Coronation Oath enacted in 1688, swearing to maintain the Protestant Reformed religion and to preserve the established
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church which is the established church of England. The archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior clergy, cleric, although the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, monarch is the Supreme Governor of t ...
. The UK also maintains seats in the
House of Lords The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is by appointment, heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster ...

House of Lords
for 26 senior clergymen of the Church of England, known as the
Lords Spiritual The Lords Spiritual of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United ...
. In Canada the ''
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms The ''Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms'' (french: La Charte canadienne des droits et libertés), often simply referred to as the ''Charter'' in Canada, is a bill of rights entrenched in the Constitution of Canada, forming the first part ...
'' affords secular freedoms of conscience and religion, thought, belief, opinion and expression, including communication, assembly and association yet the Charter's preamble maintains the concept of "the supremacy of God" which would appear to disadvantage those who hold
nontheistic Nontheism or non-theism is a range of both religious and nonreligious attitudes characterized by the absence of espoused belief in a personal god, God or gods. Nontheism has generally been used to describe apathy or silence towards the subject of ...
or
polytheistic Polytheism is the worship of or belief in multiple deities A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena that are not subject to the laws of nature.https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/supernatura ...
beliefs, including
atheism Atheism, in the broadest sense, is an absence of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use the term "belie ...

atheism
and
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the Major religious groups#Largest religions, world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and ...

Buddhism
.Hogg, Peter W. ''Canada Act 1982 Annotated''. Toronto, Canada: The Carswell Company Limited, 1982.''Paul Russell''
"The supremacy of God" does not belong in the Constitution": The Globe & Mail, June 11, 1999
Italy has been a secular state since the enactment of the
Constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...
in 1948 (stressed by a
Constitutional court in the building of the former Moravian Parliament in Brno '' (BVerfG) in Karlsruhe A constitutional court is a Supreme court, high court that deals primarily with constitutional law. Its main authority is to rule on whether laws that are chall ...
's decision in 1985), but still recognizes a special status for the Catholic Church. The reverse progression can also occur, however; a state can go from being secular to being a religious state, as in the case of
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the north ...

Iran
where the secularized
Imperial State of Iran Imperial is that which relates to an empire An empire is a sovereign state consisting of several territories and peoples subject to a single ruling authority, often an emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a mona ...
was replaced by an Islamic Republic (list below). Nonetheless, the last 250 years has seen a trend towards secularism.


List of self-described secular states by continent

This is the list of countries that are explicitly described as secular in their constitutions or other official state documents.


Africa

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Asia

* Article 7.1 of Constitution
"The Azerbaijan State is a democratic, law-governed, secular, unitary republic."
* * * * * , Article 1: "The Republic of Kazakhstan proclaims itself democratic, secular, legal and social state ..." * * * * * * Article 2 of th
Turkey's Constitution of 1982 with Amendments through 2017
constituteproject.org, "The Republic of Turkey is a democratic, secular and social state ..."
* * 1
Transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly reg ...
.


Europe

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 1
Transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly reg ...
.
2 State with limited recognition.


North America

* * * * *


Oceania

* * * *


South America

* * * *


Former secular states

*
Confederate States of America The Confederate States of America (CSA), commonly referred to as the Confederate States or simply the Confederacy, was an List of historical unrecognized states and dependencies, unrecognized Herrenvolk democracy, herrenvolk republic in North ...

Confederate States of America
(1861–1865) *
Democratic Republic of Afghanistan ) , capital = Kabul Kabul ( ps, کابل, translit=Kābəl; prs, کابل, translit=Kābol) is the Capital city, capital and largest city of Afghanistan, located in the eastern section of the country. It is also a municipality, forming part of ...
(1980–1987) **Afghanistan became a secular state after the Soviet invasion but
Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the ''s'' is or , and whether the ''a'' is pronounced , or (when the stress is on the first syllable) ( ...
became the official religion again in 1987. *
Dominion of Pakistan The Federation of Pakistan, also called the Dominion of Pakistan, was an independent federal dominion The word Dominion was used from 1907 to 1948 to refer to one of several self-governing colonies of the British Empire. "Dominion status" ...
(1947-1956) *
Imperial State of Iran Imperial is that which relates to an empire An empire is a sovereign state consisting of several territories and peoples subject to a single ruling authority, often an emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a mona ...
(1925–1979) **Iran was a secular state until the
Islamic revolution The Iranian Revolution ( fa, انقلاب ایران, Enqelâbe Irân, ); locally known as the Islamic Revolution (or the 1979 Revolution) was a series of events that culminated in the overthrow of the Pahlavi dynasty under Shah Shah (; f ...
of 1979, which overthrew
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi Mohammad Reza Pahlavi ( fa, محمدرضا پهلوی, ; 26 October 1919 – 27 July 1980), also known as Mohammad Reza Shah (), was the last '' Shah'' ( King) of Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially th ...

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
and instituted an Islamic republic. * (1932–1993) **Iraq became a secular state in 1932 after its independence. However, the
Ba'athist Baathism ( ar, البعثية ''al-Bathīyah'' , from بعث ''bath'' , meaning "renaissance" or "resurrection") is an Arab nationalist ideology An ideology () is a set of beliefs or philosophies attributed to a person or group of persons, ...
regime In politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. The branch of social sc ...

regime
led by
Saddam Hussein Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (; Arabic alphabet, Arabic: '; 28 April 1937 – 30 December 2006) was an Iraqi politician who served as the fifth president of Iraq from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003. A leading member of the rev ...

Saddam Hussein
launched the Return to Faith campaign in 1993 and placed significant emphasis on
Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the ''s'' is or , and whether the ''a'' is pronounced , or (when the stress is on the first syllable) ( ...
within all sectors of state and public life. * (1962–2017) **In 2017, the Samoan legislative assembly approved a constitutional amendment that instituted
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's la ...

Christianity
as the state religion.


Ambiguous states

* **According to Section 2 of the
Constitution of Argentina The Constitution of the Argentine Nation ( es, Constitución de la Nación Argentina) is the basic governing document of Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located most ...
, "The Federal Government supports the Roman Catholic Apostolic religion" but it does not stipulate an official state religion, nor a separation of church and state. In practice, however, the country is mostly secular, and there is no kind of persecution of people of other religions; they are completely accepted and even encouraged in their activities. * **The constitution formally separates the church from the state; however, it recognizes the
Armenian Apostolic Church , native_name_lang = hy , icon = Armenian Apostolic Church logo.png , icon_width = 100px , icon_alt = , image = Էջմիածնի_Մայր_Տաճար.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , al ...
as the national church. * **There is a constitutional ambiguity that makes Bangladesh both secular and Islamic. Freedom of religion is guaranteed by its constitution in which it gives equal rights to all citizens irrespective of religion. In 2010, the High Court held up the secular principles of the 1972 constitution * **According to the Preamble of the
Constitution of Brazil The Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil ( pt, Constituição da República Federativa do Brasil) is the supreme law A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the lega ...
, "...promulgate, under the protection of God, this Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil" but it does not stipulate any official state religion. The Article 19th of the same Constitution forbids in any degree of the State to "establish religious cults or churches, subsidize them, hamper their operation or maintain with them or their representative's relations of dependency or alliance, with the exception of cooperation for the public interest, as set forth in the law". **Despite being mostly secular, it is normal to see religious symbols (such as crucifixes) in State facilities (hospitals, schools, courts, police stations). **According to Article 208 of the Brazilian Penal Code "mock someone publicly, by reason of belief or religious function; prevent or disrupt ceremony or practice of religious worship; publicly vilify act or object of religious worship" incurs in a penalty of "detention of one month to one year or a fine". * **The " Fundamental Freedoms" section of the ''
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms The ''Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms'' (french: La Charte canadienne des droits et libertés), often simply referred to as the ''Charter'' in Canada, is a bill of rights entrenched in the Constitution of Canada, forming the first part ...
'' states: "2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: (a) freedom of conscience and religion; (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication; (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and (d) freedom of association." Canadians are therefore free to have their own beliefs and opinions, are free to practice religion or refrain, and are free to establish media organizations with or without religious content, and these freedoms are constitutionally protected. However, according to the Charter's preamble, "Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God."Quoted from the
Preamble to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms The preamble to the ''Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms'' is the introductory sentence to the Constitution of Canada's Charter of Rights and ''Constitution Act, 1982''. In full, it reads, Interpretation Writing in 1982, when the ''Charter'' ...
This portion of the preamble has not been accorded legal effect in ''Charter'' jurisprudence. The constitutional recognition of God has been criticized as conflicting in principle with the fundamental freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed in section 2, as it would disadvantage those who hold
nontheistic Nontheism or non-theism is a range of both religious and nonreligious attitudes characterized by the absence of espoused belief in a personal god, God or gods. Nontheism has generally been used to describe apathy or silence towards the subject of ...
or
polytheistic Polytheism is the worship of or belief in multiple deities A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena that are not subject to the laws of nature.https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/supernatura ...
beliefs, including
atheism Atheism, in the broadest sense, is an absence of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use the term "belie ...

atheism
and
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the Major religious groups#Largest religions, world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and ...

Buddhism
. The Province of Quebec has legislation declaring it to be a lay state. * **Although Article 3 of the El Salvadoran constitution states, "no restrictions shall be established that are based on differences of nationality, race, sex or religion", Article 26 states that the state recognizes the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . As the wor ...

Catholic Church
and gives it legal preference. * **Claims to be secular, but the
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland ( fi, Suomen evankelis-luterilainen kirkko; sv, Evangelisk-lutherska kyrkan i Finland) is a national church A national church is a Christian church associated with a specific ethnic group An ethnic ...

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
and the
Finnish Orthodox Church The Orthodox Church of Finland ( fi, Suomen ortodoksinen kirkko, lit=Finland's Orthodox Church; sv, Ortodoxa kyrkan i Finland, lit=Orthodox Church in Finland; ) is an autonomous Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodox archdiocese of the Ecumenic ...
have the right to collect church tax from their members in conjunction with government income tax. In addition to membership tax, businesses also used to contribute financially to the church through tax, but as of 2016, that is no longer the case. * **Georgia gives distinct recognition to the
Georgian Orthodox Church The Apostolic Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Georgia ( ka, საქართველოს სამოციქულო ავტოკეფალური მართლმადიდებელი ეკლესია, tr), commonly ...
in Article 9 of the Constitution of Georgia (country), Constitution of Georgia and through the Concordat of 2002. However, the Constitution also guarantees "absolute freedom of belief and religion". Georgian constitution also refers to God in preamble: "We, the citizens of Georgia – whose firm will... proclaim this Constitution before God and the nation." * **Indonesia follows the principle of Pancasila (politics), Pancasila, where the first principle states "Belief in the One and Only God". There is no official state religion in Indonesia, but the state acknowledges
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the Major religious groups#Largest religions, world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and ...

Buddhism
, Confucianism, Hinduism,
Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the ''s'' is or , and whether the ''a'' is pronounced , or (when the stress is on the first syllable) ( ...
, Protestantism, and the Roman Catholic Church as the only official religions in the country. Because of this, the state does not acknowledge
atheism Atheism, in the broadest sense, is an absence of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use the term "belie ...

atheism
as a religion and recommend each citizen to state their religion on their Indonesian identity card, identity cards, though currently this is optional. This led to Discrimination against atheists#Indonesia, discrimination towards citizens who refuse to identify with any of the official religions acknowledged by the government and often lead to Blasphemy law in Indonesia, blasphemy charges for condoning Irreligion in Indonesia, irreligion. * **There are a few sections of the Constitution of Ireland that refer to God. ***In the Preamble it is mentioned, "In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred, We, the people of Éire, Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial...". ***In Article 6 it is mentioned, "1 All powers of government, legislative, executive and judicial, derive, under God, from the people...". ***Article 12, item 8 instructs the President to make the following declaration: "In the presence of Almighty God I do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will maintain the Constitution of Ireland and uphold its laws, that I will fulfill my duties faithfully and conscientiously in accordance with the Constitution and the law, and that I will dedicate my abilities to the service and welfare of the people of Ireland. May God direct and sustain me". ***Article 31, item 4 establishes that every member of the Council of State supports the following declaration: "In the presence of Almighty God I do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as a member of the Council of State". ***Article 34, item 6 establishes that every person appointed a judge under this Constitution shall make and subscribe the following declaration: "In the presence of Almighty God I do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will duly and faithfully and to the best of my knowledge and power execute the office of Chief Justice (or as the case may be) without fear or favour, affection or ill-will towards any man, and that I will uphold the Constitution and the laws. May God direct and sustain me". ***In Article 44, item 1 it is mentioned, "The State acknowledges that the homage of public worship is due to Almighty God. It shall hold His Name in reverence, and shall respect and honour religion". **However, in the same Constitution, in Article 44, item 2, it is mentioned: ***"1° Freedom of conscience and the free profession and practice of religion are, subject to public order and morality, guaranteed to every citizen". ***"2° The State guarantees not to endow any religion". ***"3° The State shall not impose any disabilities or make any discrimination on the ground of religious profession, belief or status". ***"4° Legislation providing State aid for schools shall not discriminate between schools under the management of different religious denominations, nor be such as to affect prejudicially the right of any child to attend a school receiving public money without attending religious instruction at that school". ***"5° Every religious denomination shall have the right to manage its own affairs, own, acquire and administer property, movable and immovable, and maintain institutions for religious or charitable purposes". ***"6° The property of any religious denomination or any educational institution shall not be diverted save for necessary works of public utility and on payment of compensation". **On July 4, 2019, the on-duty Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said "Ten months ago we welcomed Pope Francis to Ireland. Speaking in this room, I suggested that I believed the time had come to build a new relationship between Religion and the State in Ireland - a new covenant for the 21st Century. One in which religion is no longer at the centre of our State but continues to have a real and meaningful role to play on our society". **Most of the public schools in Ireland are confessional and there are some reports of abuse by some institutions * **When the idea of Types of Zionism, modern political Zionism was introduced by Theodor Herzl, his idea was that Israel would be a secular state which would not be influenced at all by religion. When David Ben-Gurion founded the state of Israel, he put religious parties in government next to secular Jews in the same governing coalition. Many secular Israelis feel constrained by the religious sanctions imposed on them. Many businesses close on Shabbat, including many forms of public transportation, restaurants, and Israeli airline El Al. In order for a Jewish couple to be formally married in Israel, a couple has to be married by a rabbi. Jewish married couples can only be divorced by a rabbinical council. Many secular Israelis may go abroad to be married, often in Cyprus. Marriages officiated abroad are recognized as official marriages in Israel. Also, all food at army bases and in cafeterias of government buildings has to be kosher. Many religious symbols have found their way into Israeli national symbols. For example, the flag of the country is similar to a tallit, or prayer shawl, with its blue stripes. The national coat of arms also displays the menorah (Temple), menorah. However, some viewpoints argue that these symbols can be interpreted as ethnic/cultural symbols too, and point out that many secular European nations (Sweden, Norway and Georgia) have religious symbols on their flags. Reports have considered Israel to be a secular state, and its definition as a "Jewish state" refers to the Jewish people, who include people with varying relations to the Judaism, Jewish religion including non-believers, rather than to the Judaism, Jewish religion itself. * **Under the terms of its preamble, the Constitution of Kiribati is proclaimed by "the people of Kiribati, acknowledging God as the Almighty Father in whom we put trust". However, there is no established church or state religion, and article 11 of the Constitution protects each person's "freedom of thought and of religion, freedom to change his religion or belief", and freedom of public or private religious practice and education. * **According to the Lao Constitution, Buddhism is given special privileges in the country. The state respects and protects all the lawful activities of Buddhism. * **In Article 3 of the Constitution of Malaysia, Islam is stated as the official religion of the country: "Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation." In 1956, the Alliance Party (Malaysia), Alliance party submitted a memorandum to the Reid Commission, which was responsible for drafting the Malayan constitution. The memorandum quoted: "The religion of Malaya shall be Islam. The observance of this principle shall not impose any disability on non-Muslim nationals professing and practicing their own religion and shall not imply that the state is not a secular state." The full text of the Memorandum was inserted into paragraph 169 of the Commission Report. This suggestion was later carried forward in the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Proposals 1957 (White Paper), specifically quoting in paragraph 57: "There has been included in the proposed Federal Constitution a declaration that Islam is the religion of the Federation. This will in no way affect the present position of the Federation as a secular State...." The Cobbold Commission also made another similar quote in 1962: "....we are agreed that Islam should be the national religion for the Federation. We are satisfied that the proposal in no way jeopardises freedom of religion in the Federation, which in effect would be secular." In December 1987, the Lord President of the Supreme Court, Salleh Abas described Malaysia as governed by "secular law" in a court ruling. In the early 1980s, then-prime minister Mahathir Mohamad implemented an official programme of Islamization, in which Islamic values and principles were introduced into public sector ethics, substantial financial support to the development of Madrasa, Islamic religious education, places of worship and the development of Islamic banking. The Malaysian government also made efforts to expand the powers of Islamic-based state statutory bodies such as the Tabung Haji, JAKIM (Department of Islamic Development Malaysia), and the National Fatwa Council. There has been much continued public debate on whether Malaysia is an Islamic or secular state. * **Article 19 of the Constitution of Burma, 2008 Myanmar constitution states, "The State recognizes the special position of Buddhism as the faith professed by the great majority of the citizens of the State." while Article 20 mentions "The State also recognizes Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Animism as the religions existing in the Union on the date on which the State Constitution comes into force." The government pursues a policy of religious pluralism and tolerance in the country, as stipulated in Article 21 of its constitution, "The State shall render assistance and protect as it possibly can the religions it recognizes." In 1956, the Burmese ambassador in Indonesia U Mya Sein quoted, "The Constitution of the Union of Burma provides for a Secular State although it endorses that Buddhism is professed by the majority (90 per cent) of the nation." While Buddhism is not a state religion in Myanmar, the government provides funding to state Universities to Buddhist monks, mandated the compulsory recital of Buddhist prayers in public schools and patronizes the Sangha (Buddhism), Buddhist clergy from time to time to rally popular support and political legitimization. * **The Constitution of Nauru opens by stating, "the people of Nauru acknowledge God as the almighty and everlasting Lord and the giver of all good things". However, there is no state religion or established church, and article 11 of the Constitution protects each person's "right to freedom of conscience, thought and religion, including freedom to change his religion or beliefs and freedom", and right to practice his or her religion. * **The Constitution of Nepal provides freedom of religion and denies the right to convert another person. The previous constitution of 1990, which was in effect until 2007, described the country as a "Hindu Kingdom". With the new Constitution, the Interim Parliament officially declared the country a secular state in January 2007, but no laws specifically affecting Freedom of religion in Nepal, freedom of religion were changed. Adherents of the country's many Religion in Nepal, religious groups generally coexisted peacefully and respected places of worship, although there were reports of societal abuses and discrimination based on religious belief or practice. Those who converted to another religious group at times faced violence and occasionally were ostracized socially but generally did not fear to admit their affiliations in public. * **Norway changed the wording of the constitution on 21 May 2012, to remove references to the state church. Until 2017, the Church of Norway was not a separate legal entity from the government. In 2017, it was disestablished and became a national church, a legally distinct entity from the state with special constitutional status. The King of Norway is required by the Constitution to be a member of the Church of Norway, and the church is regulated by special canon law, unlike other religions. * **The Romanian constitution declares freedom of religion, but all recognized religious denominations remain to some extent state-funded. Since 1992, these denominations have also maintained a monopoly on the sale of religious merchandise, which includes all candles except decorative candles and candles for marriage and baptism. It is currently illegal in Romania to sell cult candles without the approval of the Eastern Orthodox Church or of another religious denomination which employs candles (law 103/1992, appended O.U.G. nr.92/2000 to specify penalties). Romania recognizes 18 denominations/religions: various sects of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . As the wor ...

Catholic Church
, Protestantism and Neoprotestantism, Neo-Protestantism (including Jehovah's Witnesses), Judaism and Sunni Islam. Unrecognized cults or denominations are not prohibited, however. * **The preamble of the Constitution of Seychelles begins the second line with "GRATEFUL to Almighty God". * **The Sri Lankan constitution does not cite a state religion. However, Article 9 of Chapter 2, which states "The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place, and accordingly, it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana" makes Sri Lanka an ambiguous state with respect to secularism. In 2004, Jathika Hela Urumaya proposed a constitutional amendment that would make a clear reference to Buddhism as the state religion, which was rejected by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka.Temperman (2010)
p. 66
/ref> * **The Swiss Confederation remains secular at the federal level. However, the constitution begins with the words "In the name of Almighty God!" **24 of the 26 Canton (country subdivision), cantons support either the Catholic Church or the Swiss Reformed Church. * **Semi secular state with Islamic jurisprudence being used for personal statues laws. * **Section 9 of the 2007 constitution of Thailand, 2007 Thai constitution states, "The King is a Buddhist and Upholder of religions", and section 79 makes another related reference: "The State shall patronise and protect Buddhism as the religion observed by most Thais for a long period of time and other religions, promote good understanding and harmony among followers of all religions as well as encourage the application of religious principles to create virtue and develop the quality of life." The United States Department of State characterized that these provisions provide Buddhism as the ''de facto'' official religion of Thailand. There have been calls by Buddhists to make an explicit reference to Buddhism as the country's state religion, but the government has turned down these requests. Academics and legal experts have argued that Thailand is a secular state as provisions in its penal code are generally irreligious by nature. * **The Constitution of Tonga opens by referring to "the will of God that man should be free". Article 6 provides, "the Sabbath Day shall be kept holy", and prohibits any "commercial undertaking" on that day. Article 5 provides: "All men are free to practice their religion and to worship God as they may deem fit in accordance with the dictates of their own worship consciences and to assemble for religious service in such places as they may appoint". There is no established church or state religion. Any preaching on public radio or television is required to be done "within the limits of the mainstream Christian tradition", though no specific religious denomination is favoured."2010 Report on International Religious Freedom - Tonga"
United States Department of State, 2011
* ** The Republic of Turkey is officially a Secularism in Turkey, secular country. The first signs of secularism date back to the reforms in the 1700s' Ottoman Empire. Although the current governing party has a close affinity with Sunni Islam, the latest Constitution of Turkey, Constitution of 1982 neither recognizes an official religion nor promotes any. The Directorate of Religious Affairs, an official state institution established by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1924, expresses opinions on religious matters and is responsible for all administration of the Sunni Islam, Sunni institutions. * **The
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church which is the established church of England. The archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior clergy, cleric, although the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, monarch is the Supreme Governor of t ...
is the established state religion of England only. It is no longer established in Northern Ireland or Wales and the Anglican Church in these regions (Church of Ireland and Church in Wales, respectively) became autonomous from the Church of England in 1871 and 1920, respectively. In Scotland, the generally Protestant Church of Scotland has an ambiguous, special constitutional status as national church. Furthermore, unlike its Welsh and Irish counterparts, the Anglican Church in Scotland (the Scottish Episcopal Church) never had established status. ***Like the Church of Ireland and Church in Wales, the Scottish Episcopal Church is autonomous from the Church of England. All, however, are still in Anglican Communion, full communion. **Two archbishops and 24 senior Diocese, diocesan bishops of the Church of England (the
Lords Spiritual The Lords Spiritual of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United ...
) have seats in the
House of Lords The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is by appointment, heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster ...

House of Lords
, where they participate in debates and vote on decisions affecting the entire United Kingdom. ***Parliament is opened with prayers, led by a Lords Spiritual member in the House of Lords and the Speaker of the House of Commons (United Kingdom), Speaker's chaplain in the House of Commons. **The full term for the expression of the Crown's sovereignty via legislation is Queen-in-Parliament, the Crown-in-Parliament under God. At their coronation, the sovereign is anointed with consecrated oil by the Archbishop of Canterbury in a service at Westminster Abbey and must swear to maintain the Divine law, Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel, maintain Protestantism in the United Kingdom, specifically the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof as by established law in England. ***Thus, though the Church of Ireland is no longer established and the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church which is the established church of England. The archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior clergy, cleric, although the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, monarch is the Supreme Governor of t ...
has been Disestablishmentarianism, disestablished in Wales as the Church in Wales, the Crown is still bound to protect Protestantism in general in the whole of the United Kingdom by the Coronation Oath Act 1688 and the Bill of Rights 1689, Bill of Rights, and to protect the Church of Scotland by the Acts of Union 1707, Act of Union 1707. All Members of Parliament (MPs) must declare their allegiance to the Queen in order to take their seat. Each individual MP, however, can choose whether or not to affirm a religious oath. * **According to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, together with the Free Exercise Clause, which forms the constitutional right of freedom of religion, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." An act of Congress changed the official United States motto to "In God We Trust, In God we trust". Prior to this act of Congress, the official motto of the United States had been "E pluribus unum, E pluribus Unum" or "out of many, one" since the country's creation. Additionally, the motto of "In God we trust" has been printed on their currency since 1864.


See also

* Civil religion * Freedom of religion * Secular education * Secularism * Secularity * Secular religion * Separation of church and state * State atheism * State religion * Theocracy


Notes


References


Bibliography

* Temperman, Jeroen, ''State Religion Relationships and Human Rights Law: Towards a Right to Religiously Neutral Governance'', BRILL, 2010, Constitutional law Secularism Religion and politics Religion and government Religious policy{{Cite web, title=, url=https://www.lh-ag.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Is-Malaysia-a-Secular-or-a-Theocratic-State_MHY-20200910.pdf, url-status=live