theocracy
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Theocracy is a form of government in which one or more
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/supernatural By definition, a supernatural manifestation or event require ...
of some type is recognized as the supreme ruling authority, giving divine guidance to human intermediaries that manage the day-to-day affairs of the government.


Etymology

The word theocracy originates from the Greek word θεοκρατία (''theocratia'') meaning "the rule of God". This in turn derives from θεός (theos), meaning "god", and κρατέω (''krateo''), meaning "to rule". Thus the meaning of the word in Greek was "rule by god(s)" or human
incarnation Incarnation literally means ''embodied in flesh'' or ''taking on flesh''. It refers to the conception and birth of a sentient being who is the material manifestation of an entity, god God, in monotheistic thought, is conceived of as the sup ...

incarnation
(s) of god(s). The term was initially coined by
Flavius Josephus Titus Flavius Josephus (; ; 37 – 100), born Yosef ben Matityahu ( he, יוסף בן מתתיהו ''Yōsef ben Matiṯyāhu''; grc-gre, Ἰώσηπος Ματθίου παῖς ''Iṓsēpos Matthíou paîs''), was a first-century Romano-Jewish ...
in the first century AD to describe the characteristic government of the
Jew Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2International Organization for Standardization, ISO 259 is a series of international standards for the romanization of Hebrew, romanization of Hebrew alphabet, Hebrew characters into Latin alphabet, La ...

Jew
s. Josephus argued that while mankind had developed many forms of rule, most could be subsumed under the following three types:
monarchy A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Life tenure, for life or until abdication, and therefore ...
,
oligarchy Oligarchy (; ) is a form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people. These people may or may not be distinguished by one or several characteristics, such as nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked ...
, and
democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which people, the people have the authority to deliberate and decide legislation ("direct democracy"), or to choo ...

democracy
. However, according to Josephus, the government of the Jews was unique. Josephus offered the term "theocracy" to describe this polity, according to Jewish tradition ordained by Moses, in which God is sovereign and his word is law. Josephus' definition was widely accepted until the
Enlightenment Enlightenment, enlighten or enlightened may refer to: Age of Enlightenment * Age of Enlightenment, period in Western intellectual history from the late 17th to late 18th century, centered in France but also encompassing: ** Midlands Enlightenment ...
era, when the term took on negative
connotation A connotation is a commonly understood culture, cultural or emotional association that any given word or phrase carries, in addition to its explicit or literal meaning (philosophy of language), meaning, which is its denotation. A connotation is f ...
s and was hardly salvaged by
Hegel Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (; ; 27 August 1770 – 14 November 1831) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citi ...

Hegel
's abstruse commentary. The first recorded English use was in 1622, with the meaning "sacerdotal government under divine inspiration" (as in Biblical Israel before the rise of kings); the meaning "priestly or religious body wielding political and civil power" is recorded from 1825.


Synopsis

In some religions, the ruler, usually a king, was regarded as the chosen favorite of God (or gods) and could not be questioned, sometimes even being regarded as the descendant of or a god in their own right. Today, there is also a form of government where clerics have the power and the supreme leader could not be questioned in action. From the perspective of the theocratic government, "God himself is recognized as the head" of the state, hence the term ''theocracy'', from the
Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek language, Greek spoken and written d ...
"rule of God", a term used by
Josephus Titus Flavius Josephus (; ; 37 – 100), born Yosef ben Matityahu ( he, יוסף בן מתתיהו ''Yōsef ben Matiṯyāhu''; grc-gre, Ἰώσηπος Ματθίου παῖς ''Iṓsēpos Matthíou paîs''), was a first-century Romano-Jewish ...

Josephus
for the
kingdoms of Israel and Judah The Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah The Kingdom of Judah ( he, יְהוּדָה, ''Yəhūdā(h)''; akk, 𒅀𒌑𒁕𒀀𒀀 ''Ya'uda''; arc, 𐤁‬𐤉‬𐤕‬𐤃𐤅‬𐤃 ''Bēyt Dāwīḏ'') was an Iron Age The Ir ...
. Taken literally, ''theocracy'' means rule by God or gods and refers primarily to an internal "rule of the heart", especially in its biblical application. The common, generic use of the term, as defined above in terms of rule by a church or analogous religious leadership, would be more accurately described as an ''ecclesiocracy''. In a pure theocracy, the civil leader is believed to have a personal connection with the civilization's religion or belief. For example,
Moses Moses he, מֹשֶׁה, ''Mōše''; also known as Moshe Rabbenu ( he, מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ "Moshe our Teacher"); syr, ܡܘܫܐ, ''Mūše''; ar, موسى '; el, Mωϋσῆς, ' () is considered the most important prophet in Judaism ...

Moses
led the Israelites, and
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
led the early Muslims. There is a fine line between the tendency of appointing religious characters to run the state and having a religious-based government. An ecclesiocracy, on the other hand, is a situation where the religious leaders assume a leading role in the state, but do not claim that they are instruments of divine revelation. For example, the
prince-bishop A prince-bishop is a bishop who is also the civil ruler of some Secularity, secular principality and sovereignty. Thus the principality or Hochstift, prince-bishopric ruled politically by a prince-bishop could wholly or largely overlap with his ...
s of the European Middle Ages, where the bishop was also the temporal ruler. Such a state may use the administrative hierarchy of the religion for its own administration, or it may have two "arms" – administrators and clergy – but with the state administrative hierarchy subordinate to the religious hierarchy. The papacy in the
Papal States The Papal States ( ; it, Stato Pontificio), officially the State of the Church ( it, Stato della Chiesa, ; la, Status Ecclesiasticus; also '), were a series of territories in the Italian Peninsula under the direct sovereign Sovereign is a ...
occupied a middle ground between theocracy and ecclesiocracy, since the pope did not claim he was a prophet who received revelation from God and translated it into civil law. Religiously endorsed monarchies fall between these two poles, according to the relative strengths of the religious and political organs. Theocracy is distinguished from other, secular forms of government that have a
state religion A state religion (also called an established religion or official religion) is a religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether ...
, or are influenced by theological or moral concepts, and monarchies held "
By the Grace of God By the Grace of God (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 Latium. Through the power of the ...
". In the most common usage of the term, some civil rulers are leaders of the dominant religion (e.g., the
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It surviv ...

Byzantine
emperor as patron and defender of the official Church); the government proclaims it rules on behalf of God or a higher power, as specified by the local religion, and with divine approval of government institutions and laws. These characteristics apply also to a caesaropapist regime. The Byzantine Empire however was not theocratic since the patriarch answered to the emperor, not vice versa; similarly in Tudor England the crown forced the church to break away from Rome so the royal (and, especially later, parliamentary) power could assume full control of the now
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; th ...
hierarchy and confiscate most church property and income. Secular governments can also co-exist with a state religion or delegate some aspects of civil law to religious communities. For example, in
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...

Israel
marriage is governed by officially recognized religious bodies who each provide marriage services for their respected adherents, yet no form of civil marriage (free of religion, for atheists, for example) exists nor marriage by non-recognized minority religions.


Current theocracies


Christian theocracies


Holy See (Vatican City)

Following the
Capture of Rome The Capture of Rome ( it, Presa di Roma) on September 20, 1870, was the final event of the long process of Italian unification also known as the ''Risorgimento'', marking both the final defeat of the Papal States under Pope Pius IX and the unifi ...
on 20 September 1870, the
Papal States The Papal States ( ; it, Stato Pontificio), officially the State of the Church ( it, Stato della Chiesa, ; la, Status Ecclesiasticus; also '), were a series of territories in the Italian Peninsula under the direct sovereign Sovereign is a ...
including Rome with the
Vatican Vatican may refer to: The Holy See * The Holy See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See of Rome, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope, which includes the apostolic see, apostolic e ...
was annexed by the
Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state that existed from 1861—when King Victor Emmanuel II of Kingdom of Sardinia, Sardinia was proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, proclaimed King of Italy—until 1946, when civil discontent l ...
. In 1929, through the
Lateran Treaty The Lateran Treaty ( it, Patti Lateranensi; la, Pacta Lateranensia) was one component of the Lateran Pacts of 1929, agreements between the Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state that existed from 1861—when ...
signed with the Italian Government, the new state of
Vatican City Vatican City (), officially the Vatican City State ( it, Stato della Città del Vaticano; la, Status Civitatis Vaticanae),—' * german: Vatikanstadt, cf. '—' (in Austria: ') * pl, Miasto Watykańskie, cf. '—' * pt, Cidade do Vatican ...

Vatican City
(population 842) – with no connection to the former Papal States – was formally created and recognized as an independent state. The head of state of the Vatican is the
pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state o ...

pope
, elected by the
College of Cardinals The College of Cardinals, formerly styled the Sacred College of Cardinals, is the body of all Cardinal (Catholicism), cardinals of the Catholic Church. List of living cardinals, its current membership is 225. Cardinals are appointed by the pop ...
, an assembly of Senatorial-princes of the Church. They are usually clerics, appointed as Ordinaries, but in the past have also included men who were not bishops nor clerics. A pope is elected for life, and either dies or may resign. The cardinals are appointed by the popes, who thereby choose the electors of their successors. Voting is limited to cardinals under 80 years of age. A Secretary for Relations with States, directly responsible for international relations, is appointed by the pope. The Vatican legal system is rooted in
canon law Canon law (from grc, κανών, , a 'straight measuring rod, ruler') is a set of ordinances and regulations made by ecclesiastical jurisdiction, ecclesiastical authority (Church leadership), for the government of a Christian organization or churc ...
but ultimately is decided by the pope; the Bishop of Rome as the
Supreme Pontiff The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state o ...
"has the fullness of legislative, executive and judicial powers." Although the laws of Vatican City come from the secular laws of Italy, under article 3 of the Law of the Sources of the Law, provision is made for the supplementary application of the "laws promulgated by the Kingdom of Italy". The government of the Vatican can also be considered an ecclesiocracy (ruled by the
Church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities. The term is used to refer to the physical build ...

Church
).


Mount Athos (Athonite State)

Mount Athos is a mountain peninsula in Greece which is an Eastern Orthodox
autonomous area File:Новая Кукковка.jpg, The Republic of Karelia is an autonomous Federal subjects of Russia, federal subject in Russia, close to borders of Finland. Picture of Petrozavodsk, the capital of the Republic of Karelia. In developmenta ...
consisting of 20
monasteries A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical langua ...
under the direct jurisdiction of the Primate of Constantinople. There have been almost 1,800 years of continuous Christian presence on Mount Athos, and it has a long history of
monasteries A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical langua ...
, which dates back to at least 800 AD. The origin of
self-rule __NOTOC__ Self-governance, self-government, or self-rule is the ability of a person or group to exercise all necessary functions of regulation Regulation is the management of complex systems according to a set of rules and trends. In systems ...
at Mt Athos can be traced back to a royal
edict An edict is a decree or announcement of a law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by i ...
issued by the
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It surviv ...

Byzantine
Emperor
John Tzimisces John I Tzimiskes (; – 10 January 976) was the senior Byzantine Emperor from 11 December 969 to 10 January 976. An intuitive and successful general, he strengthened the Empire and expanded its borders during his short reign. Background ...
in 972, and reaffirmed by Emperor
Alexios I Komnenos Alexios I Komnenos ( grc-gre, Ἀλέξιος Ά Κομνηνός, – 15 August 1118), Latinized Latinisation or Latinization can refer to: * Latinisation of names, the practice of rendering a non-Latin name in a Latin style * Latinisatio ...

Alexios I Komnenos
in 1095. Greece wrestled control of the area from the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th a ...
during the
First Balkan War The First Balkan War ( bg, Балканска война; el, Αʹ Βαλκανικός πόλεμος; sr, Први балкански рат, ''Prvi Balkanski rat''; tr, Birinci Balkan Savaşı) lasted from October 1912 to May 1913 and invol ...

First Balkan War
in 1912. However, it was formally recognised as part of Greece only after a diplomatic dispute with the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, succeeding the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad that ended the Great Northern War. T ...
was no longer an obstacle, after that latter's collapse during
World War I World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously known as the Great War or "The war to end war, the war ...

World War I
. Mount Athos is specifically exempt from the free movement of people and goods required by Greece's membership of the European Union and entrance is only allowed with express permission from the monks. The number of daily visitors to Mount Athos is restricted, with all visitors required to obtain an entrance permit. Only men are permitted to visit and Orthodox Christians take precedence in permit-issuing. Residents of Mount Athos must be men aged 18 and over who are members of the Eastern Orthodox Church and also either monks or workers. Athos is governed jointly by a 'Holy Community' consisting of representatives from the 20 monasteries and a Civil Governor, appointed by the
Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group *Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family **Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor of ...
. The Holy Community also has a four-member executive committee called the "Holy Administration" which is led by the ''
Protos Protos means "first," derived from the ancient Greek . Protos may also refer to: * Protos (monastic office), a monastic office at the Eastern Orthodox monastic state of Mount Athos * Protos (constructor), a former racing car constructor * Protos o ...
''.


Islamic theocracies

An Islamic republic is the name given to several states that are officially ruled by Islamic laws, including the Islamic Republics 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
,
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, e ...

Pakistan
, and
Mauritania Mauritania (; ar, موريتانيا, ', french: Mauritanie; Berber languages, Berber: ''Agawej'' or ''Cengit''; Pulaar language, Pulaar: ''Moritani''; Wolof language, Wolof: ''Gànnaar''; Soninke language, Soninke: ''Murutaane''), officially ...

Mauritania
. Pakistan first adopted the title under the constitution of 1956. Mauritania adopted it on 28 November 1958. Iran adopted it after the 1979
Iranian Revolution The Iranian Revolution ( fa, انقلاب ایران, Enqelâbe Irân, ); Endonym and exonym, 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 ...
that overthrew the
Pahlavi dynasty The Pahlavi dynasty ( fa, خاندان پهلوی) is the last Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. ...
. Afghanistan adopted it in 2004 after the fall of the
Taliban The Taliban ( ps, طالبان, ṭālibān, lit=students) or Taleban, who refer to themselves as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), are a Sunni Islamist movement and military organisation in Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pasht ...

Taliban
government. Despite having similar names, the countries differ greatly in their governments and laws. The term "Islamic republic" has come to mean several different things, at times contradictory. To some Muslim religious leaders in the Middle East and Africa who advocate it, an Islamic republic is 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 ...
under a particular
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) ( ...
ic
form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department ...
. They see it as a compromise between a purely Islamic
caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the '' ...
and secular nationalism and
republicanism Republicanism is a political ideology An ideology () is a set 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 t ...
. In their conception of the Islamic republic, the
penal code A criminal code (or penal code) is a document that compiles all, or a significant amount of, a particular jurisdiction's criminal law. Typically a criminal code will contain Crime, offences that are recognised in the jurisdiction, penalties that ...
of the state is required to be compatible with some or all laws of
Sharia Sharia (, ar, ), Islamic law, or Sharia law, is a religious law forming part of the Islamic tradition. It is derived from the religious precepts of Islam, derived from the hadith. In Arabic, the term ''sharīʿah'' refers to God in Islam, G ...
, and the state may not be a monarchy, as many Middle Eastern states are presently.


Afghanistan

Afghanistan is an Islamic theocracy from 1996 to 2001 and since 2021 when it was ruled by the
Taliban The Taliban ( ps, طالبان, ṭālibān, lit=students) or Taleban, who refer to themselves as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), are a Sunni Islamist movement and military organisation in Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pasht ...

Taliban
as the
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto/Dari language, Dari: , Pashto: , Dari: ), officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central Asia, Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the eas ...

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
. Spreading from
Kandahar Kandahar (; Kandahār, , Qandahār) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edit ...

Kandahar
, the Taliban eventually captured
Kabul Kabul (; ps, , translit=Kābəl, ; prs, , 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 the greater Kabul Province, an ...

Kabul
in 1996. By the end of 2000, the Taliban controlled 90% of the country, aside from the opposition (
Northern Alliance The Afghan Northern Alliance, officially known as the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan ( fa, جبهه متحد اسلامی ملی برای نجات افغانستان ''Jabha-yi Muttahid-i Islāmi-yi Millī barāyi Nijāt-i ...
) strongholds primarily found in the northeast corner of
Badakhshan Province Badakhshan Province ( fa, بدخشان ولایت, ''Badaxšān wilāyat'') is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , countr ...
. Areas under the Taliban's direct control were mainly Afghanistan's major cities and highways. Tribal khans and warlords had ''de facto'' direct control over various small towns, villages, and rural areas. The Taliban sought to establish
law and order In modern politics, law and order, also known as tough on crime and the War on Crime, is demands for a strict criminal justice 350px, United States criminal justice system flowchart. Criminal justice is the delivery of justice Justice, on ...
and to impose a strict interpretation of Islamic ''
Sharia law Sharia (; ar, شريعة, sharīʿa ) is a religious law forming part of the Islamic tradition. It's derived from the Five Pillars of Islam, religious precepts of Islam and is based on the interpretations of the Islamic holy books, sacred scr ...
'', along with the religious edicts of Mullah
Mohammed Omar Mullah Mohammed Omar ( ps, ملا محمد عمر, ''Mullā Muḥammad 'Umar''; 1960 – 23 April 2013), widely known as Mullah Omar, was an Afghan mujahideen commander who led the Taliban, and founded the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan ...
, upon the entire country of Afghanistan. During the five-year history of the Islamic Emirate, the Taliban regime interpreted the ''Sharia'' in accordance with the
Hanafi The Hanafi school ( ar, حَنَفِي, translit=Ḥanafī) is one of the four traditional major Sunni Islam, Sunni schools (Madhhab, ''maddhab'') of Islamic jurisprudence (''fiqh''). Its eponym is the 8th-century Kufan scholar, Abu Hanifa, Abū ...
school of Islamic jurisprudence and the religious edicts of Mullah Omar. The Taliban forbade pork and alcohol, many types of consumer technology such as
music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the universal cultural aspects of all human societies. General definitions of music include common elements such as pit ...
, Television in Afghanistan, television, and Cinema of Afghanistan, film, as well as most forms of art such as paintings or photography, male and female participation in sport, including association football, football and chess; Recreation, recreational activities such as Kite, kite-flying and keeping pigeons or other pets were also forbidden, and the birds were killed according to the Taliban's ruling. Movie theaters were closed and repurposed as mosques. Celebration of the New Year's Day, Western and Nauruz in Afghanistan, Iranian New Year was forbidden. Taking photographs and displaying pictures or portraits was forbidden, as it was considered by the Taliban as a form of Idolatry#Islam, idolatry. Women were Taliban treatment of women#Employment, banned from working, girls were Taliban treatment of women#Education, forbidden to attend schools or universities, were requested to observe purdah and to be accompanied outside their households by male relatives; those who violated these restrictions were punished. Men were forbidden to shave their beards and required to let them grow and keep them long according to the Taliban's liking, and to wear turbans outside their households. Communists were systematically executed. Salah, Prayer was made compulsory and those who did not respect the religious obligation after the ''Adhan, azaan'' were arrested. Gambling in Islam, Gambling was banned, and thieves were punished by Islam and violence#Islam and crime, amputating their hands or feet. In 2000, the Taliban leader Mullah Omar officially banned Opium production in Afghanistan, opium cultivation and Illegal drug trade, drug trafficking in Afghanistan; the Taliban succeeded in nearly eradicating the majority of the opium production (99%) by 2001. Under the Taliban governance of Afghanistan, both drug users and dealers were severely prosecuted. Cabinet (government), Cabinet ministers and deputies were mullahs with a "madrasah education." Several of them, such as the Minister of Health and Governor of the State bank, were primarily military commanders who were ready to leave their administrative posts to fight when needed. Military reverses that trapped them behind lines or led to their deaths increased the chaos in the national administration. At the national level, "all senior Tajiks, Tajik, Uzbeks, Uzbek and Hazaras, Hazara bureaucrats" were replaced "with Pashtuns, whether qualified or not." Consequently, the ministries "by and large ceased to function.". Rashid described the Taliban government as "a secret society run by
Kandahar Kandahar (; Kandahār, , Qandahār) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edit ...

Kandahar
is ... mysterious, secretive, and dictatorial." They did not hold elections, as their spokesman explained: They modeled their decision-making process on the Pashtun tribal council (''jirga''), together with what they believed to be the early Islamic model. Discussion was followed by a building of a consensus by the "believers". Before capturing Kabul, there was talk of stepping aside once a government of "good Muslims" took power, and law and order were restored. As the Taliban's power grew, decisions were made by Mullah Omar without consulting the ''jirga'' and without consulting other parts of the country. One such instance is the rejection of Loya Jirga decision about expulsion of Osama Bin Laden. Mullah Omar visited the capital, Kabul, only twice while in power. Instead of an election, their leader's legitimacy came from an oath of allegiance ("Bay'ah"), in imitation of Muhammad, the Prophet and the Rashidun, first four Caliphs. On 4 April 1996, Mullah Omar had "the Cloak of Muhammad" taken from its shrine, Kirka Sharif, for the first time in 60 years. Wrapping himself in the relic, he appeared on the roof of a building in the center of Kandahar while hundreds of Pashtun mullahs below shouted "Amir al-Mu'minin!" (Commander of the Faithful), in a pledge of support. Taliban spokesman Mullah Wakil explained: The Taliban were very reluctant to share power, and since their ranks were overwhelmingly Pashtun they ruled as overlords over the 60% of Afghans from other ethnic groups. In local government, such as Kabul city council. or Herat,. Taliban loyalists, not locals, dominated, even when the Pashto-speaking Taliban could not communicate with the roughly half of the population who spoke Dari or other non-Pashtun tongues. Critics complained that this "lack of local representation in urban administration made the Taliban appear as an occupying force."


Iran

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
has been described as a "theocratic republic" by the Central Intelligence Agency, CIA The World Factbook, World Factbook, and Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, its constitution has been described as a "hybrid" of "theocratic and democratic elements" by Francis Fukuyama. Like other Islamic states, it maintains religious laws and has religious courts to interpret all aspects of law. According to Iran's constitution, "all civil, penal, financial, economic, administrative, cultural, military, political, and other laws and regulations must be based on Islamic criteria." In addition, Iran has a religious ruler and many religious officials in powerful governmental positions. The head of state, or "Supreme Leader of Iran, Supreme Leader", is a ''faqih'' (scholar of Islamic law) and has more power than President of Iran, the president of Iran. The Leader appoints the heads of many powerful governmental positions: the commanders of Military of Iran, the armed forces, the director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, national radio and television network, the heads of powerful Bonyad, major religious and economical foundations, the Chief Justice of Iran, chief justice of Iran, the attorney general (indirectly through the chief justice), special tribunals, and members of Supreme National Security Council, the supreme national security council who are dealing with defense and foreign affairs. He also co-appoints the 12 jurists of the Guardian Council."Who's in Charge?" by Ervand Abrahamian ''London Review of Books'', 6 November 2008 The Leader is elected by the Assembly of Experts which is made up of Ijtihad, mujtahids, who are Islamic scholars competent in interpreting ''
Sharia Sharia (, ar, ), Islamic law, or Sharia law, is a religious law forming part of the Islamic tradition. It is derived from the religious precepts of Islam, derived from the hadith. In Arabic, the term ''sharīʿah'' refers to God in Islam, G ...
''. The Guardian Council, has the power to reject bills passed by Islamic Consultative Assembly, the Parliament. They can also approve or reject candidates who wish to run for Presidency, Parliament and the Assembly of Experts. The council supervises elections, and can allow or ban investigations into elections. Six of the twelve council members are faqih and have the power to approve or reject all the bills passed by Islamic Consultative Assembly, the Parliament; Whether the faqih believes that the bill is in accordance with Islamic laws and customs (''Sharia'') or not. The other six members are lawyers appointed by the chief justice, who is a cleric and appointed by the Leader.


Central Tibetan Administration

The Central Tibetan Administration, colloquially known as the Tibetan government in exile, is a Tibetan exile organisation with a state-like internal structure. According to its charter, the position of head of state of the Central Tibetan Administration belongs ''ex officio'' to the current Dalai Lama, a religious hierarch. In this respect, it continues the traditions of the Ganden Podrang, former government of Tibet, which was ruled by the Dalai Lamas and their ministers, with a specific role reserved for a class of monk officials. On 14 March 2011, at the 14th Dalai Lama's suggestion, the parliament of the Central Tibetan Administration began considering a proposal to remove the Dalai Lama's role as head of state in favor of an elected leader. The first directly elected Kalon Tripa, Kalön Tripa was Samdhong Rinpoche, who was elected on 20 August 2001. Before 2011, the Kalon Tripa, Kalön Tripa position was subordinate to the 14th Dalai Lama who presided over the government in exile from its founding. In August of that year, Lobsang Sangay polled 55 percent votes out of 49,189, defeating his nearest rival Tethong Tenzin Namgyal by 8,646 votes, becoming the second popularly elected Kalon Tripa. The Dalai Lama announced that his political authority would be transferred to Sangay.


Change to Sikyong

On 20 September 2012, the 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile unanimously voted to change the title of Kalön Tripa to ''Sikyong'' in Article 19 of the Charter of the Tibetans in exile and relevant articles. The Dalai Lama had previously referred to the Kalon Tripa as Sikyong, and this usage was cited as the primary justification for the name change. According to ''Tibetan Review'', "Sikyong" translates to "political leader", as distinct from "spiritual leader". Foreign affairs Kalon Dicki Chhoyang stated that the term "Sikyong" has had a precedent dating back to the 7th Dalai Lama, and that the name change "ensures historical continuity and legitimacy of the traditional leadership from the fifth Dalai Lama". The online Dharma Dictionary translates sikyong (''srid skyong'') as "secular ruler; regime, regent". The title ''sikyong'' had previously been used by regents who ruled Tibet during the Dalai Lama's minority.


States with official state religions

Having a state religion is not sufficient enough to be a theocracy in the narrow sense of the term. Many countries have a state religion without the government directly deriving its powers from a divine authority or a religious authority directly exercising governmental powers. Since the narrow sense of the term has few instances in the modern world, the more common usage of it is the wider sense of an enforced state religion.


Historic states with theocratic aspects


Sumer

Sumerian cities during the Uruk period were probably theocratic and were most likely headed by a priest-king (''ensi''), assisted by a council of elders, including both men and women.Jacobsen, Thorkild (Ed) (1939),"The Sumerian King List" (Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago; Assyriological Studies, No. 11., 1939)


Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptian pharaohs were seen as divine and associated with Horus, and after death, Osiris. While not considered equal to other members of the Egyptian pantheon, the pharaoh was seen as having the responsibility of mediating between the gods and the people.


Japan

The emperor was historically venerated as the descendant of the Shinto sun goddess Amaterasu. Through this line of descent, the emperor was seen as a living god who was the supreme leader of the Japanese people. This status only changed with the Occupation of Japan following the end of the Second World War when Emperor Hirohito was forced to Humanity Declaration, declare that he was not a living god in order for Japan to reorganize into a democratic nation.


Israel

Confederated Tribes of Israel, Early Israel was a Kritarchy, ruled by Biblical judges, Judges before instituting a monarchy. The Judges were believed to be representatives of YHWH (Yahweh, and also rendered as Jehovah).


Rome

The Imperial cult (ancient Rome), Imperial cult of ancient Rome identified Roman emperors and some members of their families with the Divine right of kings, divinely sanctioned authority (''auctoritas'') of the Roman State. The official offer of ''Glossary of ancient Roman religion#cultus, cultus'' to a living emperor acknowledged his office and rule as divinely approved and constitutional: his Principate should therefore demonstrate pietas, pious respect for traditional Republican
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/supernatural By definition, a supernatural manifestation or event require ...
and mos maiorum, mores. In ancient and medieval Christianity, Caesaropapism is the doctrine where a head of state is at the same time the head of the church.


Tibet

Unified religious rule in Buddhist Tibet began in 1642, when the Fifth Dalai Lama allied with the military power of the Mongol Gushri Khan to consolidate the political power and center control around his office as head of the Gelug school. This form of government is known as the dual system of government. Prior to 1642, particular monasteries and monks had held considerable power throughout Tibet, but had not achieved anything approaching complete control, though power continued to be held in a diffuse, feudal system after the ascension of the Fifth Dalai Lama. Power in Tibet was held by a number of traditional elites, including members of the nobility, the heads of the major Buddhist sects (including their various tulkus), and various large and influential monastic communities. The Outer Mongolia (1911–1919), Bogd Khaanate period of Mongolia (1911–19) is also cited as a former Buddhist theocracy.


China

Similar to the Roman Emperor, the Chinese sovereign was historically held to be the Son of Heaven. However, from the first historical Emperor on, this was largely ceremonial and tradition quickly established it as a posthumous dignity, like the Roman institution. The situation before Qin Shi Huang Di is less clear. The Shang dynasty essentially functioned as a theocracy, declaring the ruling family the son of heaven, sons of heaven and calling the chief sky god Shangdi after a word for their deceased ancestors. After their overthrow by the Zhou dynasty, Zhou, the royal clan of Shang were not eliminated but instead moved to a ceremonial capital where they were charged to continue the performance of their rituals. The titles combined by Shi Huangdi to form his new title of Chinese emperor, emperor were originally applied to Three Sovereigns, god-like beings who ordered the heavens and earth and to Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors, culture heroes credited with the invention of Five Grains, agriculture, traditional Chinese clothing, clothing, traditional Chinese music, music, Chinese astrology, astrology, etc. Even after the fall of Qin dynasty, Qin, an emperor's words were considered sacred edicts () and his written proclamations "directives from above" (). As a result, some Sinologists translate the title ''huangdi'' (usually rendered "emperor of China, emperor") as thearch. The term properly refers to the head of a thearchy (a kingdom of gods), but the more accurate "theocrat" carries associations of a strong priesthood that would be generally inaccurate in describing imperial China. Others reserve the use of "thearch" to describe the legendary figures of Chinese prehistory while continuing to use "emperor" to describe historical rulers.Nadeau, Randall L. ''The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Chinese Religions''
pp. 54 ff.
John Wiley & Sons (Chichester), 2012. Accessed 22 December 2013.
The Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace in 1860s Qing China was a heterodox Christian theocracy led by a person who said that he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ, Hong Xiuquan. This theocratic state fought one of the most destructive wars in history, the Taiping Rebellion, against the Qing dynasty for fifteen years before being crushed following the fall of the rebel capital Nanjing.


Caliphate

The Sunni branch of Islam stipulates that, as a head of state, a Caliph should be elected by Muslims or their representatives. Followers of Shia Islam, however, believe a Caliph should be an Imam chosen by God from the Ahl al-Bayt (the "Family of the House", Muhammad's direct descendants).


Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine Empire ( 324–1453) operated under Symphonia, meaning that the List of Byzantine emperors, emperor was both the head of civil society and the ultimate authority over the ecclesiastical authorities, or patriarchates. The emperor was considered to be God's omnipotent representative on earth and he ruled as an absolute Autocracy, autocrat. Jennifer Fretland VanVoorst argues, "the Byzantine Empire became a theocracy in the sense that Christian values and ideals were the foundation of the empire's political ideals and heavily entwined with its political goals". Steven Runciman says in his book on ''The Byzantine Theocracy'' (2004):


Münster (16th Century)

Between 1533 and 1535 the Protestant leaders Jan Mattys and John of Leiden erected a short-living Münster rebellion, theocratic kingdom in the city of Münster. They created an anabaptist regime with chiliastic and milleniaristic expectations. Money was abolished and any violations of the Ten Commandments were punished by death. Despite the pietistic ideology, polygamy was allowed and von Leiden had 17 wives. In 1535, Münster was recaptured by Franz von Waldeck, ending the existence of the kingdom.


Geneva and Zurich (16th century)

Historians debate the extent to which Geneva, Switzerland, in the days of John Calvin (1509–64) was a theocracy. On the one hand, Calvin's theology clearly called for separation between church and state. Other historians have stressed the enormous political power wielded on a daily basis by the clerics. In nearby Zurich, Switzerland, Protestant reformer Huldrych Zwingli (1484-1531) built a political system that many scholars have called a theocracy, while others have denied it.


Deseret (LDS Church, USA)

The question of theocracy has been debated extensively by historians regarding the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Latter-Day Saint communities in Illinois, and especially in Utah. Joseph Smith, mayor of Nauvoo, Illinois and founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, ran as an 1844 United States presidential election, independent for president in 1844. He proposed the redemption of slaves by selling public lands; reducing the size and salary of Congress; the closure of prisons; the annexation of Texas, Oregon, and parts of Canada; the securing of international rights on high seas; free trade; and the re-establishment of a national bank. His top aide Brigham Young campaigned for Smith saying, "He it is that God of Heaven designs to save this nation from destruction and preserve the Constitution." The campaign ended when Smith was Death of Joseph Smith, killed by a mob while in the Carthage, Illinois, jail on June 27, 1844. After severe persecution, the Mormons left the United States and resettled in a remote part of Utah, which was then part of Mexico. However the United States took control in 1848 and would not accept polygamy. The Mormon State of Deseret was short-lived. Its original borders stretched from western Colorado to the southern California coast. When the Mormons arrived in the valley of the Great Salt Lake in 1847, the Great Basin was still a part of Mexico and had no secular government. As a result, Brigham Young administered the region both spiritually and temporally through the highly organized and centralized Melchizedek priesthood (Latter Day Saints), Melchizedek Priesthood. This original organization was based upon a concept called theodemocracy, a governmental system combining Biblical theocracy with mid-19th-century American political ideals. In 1849, the Saints organized a secular government in Utah, although many ecclesiastical leaders maintained their positions of secular power. The Mormons also petitioned Congress to have Deseret admitted into the Union as a state. However, under the Compromise of 1850, Utah Territory was created and Brigham Young was appointed governor. In this situation, Young still stood as head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) as well as of Utah's secular government. After the abortive Utah War of 1857–1858, the replacement of Young by an outside Federal Territorial Governor, intense federal Anti-Mormonism, prosecution of LDS Church leaders, the eventual resolution of controversies regarding plural marriage, and accession by Utah to statehood, the apparent temporal aspects of LDS theodemocracy receded markedly.


Persia/Iran

During the Achaemenid Empire, Zoroastrianism was the state religion and included formalized worship. The Persian kings were known to be pious Zoroastrians and they ruled with a Zoroastrian form of law called ''asha''. However, Cyrus the Great, who founded the empire, avoided imposing the Zoroastrian faith on the inhabitants of conquered territory. Cyrus's kindness towards Jews has been cited as sparking Zoroastrian influence on Judaism. Under the Seleucids, Zoroastrianism became autonomous. During the Sassanid period, the Zoroastrian calendar was reformed, image-use in worship was banned, Fire Temples were increasingly built, and intolerance towards other faiths prevailed.Zoroastrianism under Persian rule
retrieved 5 January 2012


Florence under Savonarola

The short reign (1494–1498) of Girolamo Savonarola, a Dominican Order, Dominican priest, over the city of Florence had features of a theocracy. During his rule, "un-Christian" books, statues, poetry, and other items were burned (in the Bonfire of the Vanities), sodomy was made a capital offense, and other Christian practices became law.


See also

* General: ** Autocracy ** Clericalism ** Divine law ** Divine command theory ** Philosopher king ** Religious law ** Religion ** Nontheistic religion * Christian: ** Christian reconstructionism ** ''Cuius regio, eius religio'' ** Divine Right of Kings ** Dominionism ** Integralism ** National Catholicism ** Temporal power (papal) ** Theonomy * Islamic: **
Iranian Revolution The Iranian Revolution ( fa, انقلاب ایران, Enqelâbe Irân, ); Endonym and exonym, 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 ...
** Islamic banking ** Islamic republic ** Islamic state ** Islamism ** Political aspects of Islam ** Islamic religious police, Religious police ** Qutbism ** Salafi movement, Salafism **
Taliban The Taliban ( ps, طالبان, ṭālibān, lit=students) or Taleban, who refer to themselves as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), are a Sunni Islamist movement and military organisation in Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pasht ...

Taliban
* Jewish: ** Kahanism ** Halachic state ** Kach and Kahane Chai * Others: ** Devaraja ** Divine right of kings ** Khalistan ** State Shinto (Japan) ** State religion * Fictional: ** List of fictional theocracies ** Religion in science fiction


Notes


References


Further reading

* * Hirschl, Ran.
Constitutional Theocracy
'. Harvard University Press, 2010. . * Baslez, Marie-Françoise and Schwentzel, Christian-Georges.''Les dieux et le pouvoir: aux origines de la théocratie''. Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2016. .


External links


Biblical Theocracy
etext of a book by Stephen Palmquist (Philopsychy Press, 1993).
Dominionism, sacralism and theocracy
nbsp;– Rachel Tabachnik, Dr. John MacArthur, Dr. Martin Erdmann, Rudolf Ebertshäuser, Sarah Leslie, Discernment Ministries Inc. u.v.m, Eds (English + German)



{{Authority control Authoritarianism Theocracy, Oligarchy Religion and government Right-wing politics Religion Religious studies Religion and politics