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A study on islamic state and religion

By comparison, just 13 countries including nine European nations designate Christianity or a particular Christian denomination as their state religion. But an additional 40 governments around the globe unofficially favor a particular religion, and in most cases the preferred faith is a branch of Christianity. Indeed, Christian churches receive preferential treatment in more countries — 28 — than any other unofficial but favored faith.

In some cases, state religions have roles that are largely ceremonial. But often the distinction comes with tangible advantages in terms of legal or tax status, ownership of real estate or other property, and access to financial support from the state. In 10 countries, the state either tightly regulates all religious institutions or is actively hostile to religion in general.

  1. Chicago and London, 1988.
  2. The state became less ethnically derived and more abstract and autonomous through the creation of a regular army and differentiated administrative and financial institutions, while maintaining a cosmopolitan but broadly Islamic character. Excellent translation and introduction to the writings of Iran 's leading reformist philosopher.
  3. Around the world, each Muslim woman has an average of 2. Sudan is another country where the establishment of an Islamic state was attempted by a military regime, in this case the process was resumed later by another military regime.

These countries include China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and several former Soviet republics — places where government officials seek to control worship practices, public expressions of religion and political activity by religious groups. Most governments around the globe, however, are generally neutral toward religion.

More than 100 countries and territories included in the study have no official or preferred religion as of 2015. These include countries like the United States that may give benefits or privileges to religious groups, but generally do so without systematically favoring a specific group over others.

States with an official religion confer official status on a particular religion in their constitution or basic law. These states do not necessarily provide benefits to that religious group over others. But, in most cases, they do favor the state religion in some way.

States with a preferred or favored religion have government policies or actions that clearly favor one or in some cases, more than one religion over others, typically with legal, financial or other kinds of practical benefits. Some of these countries also call for freedom of religion in their constitutions — though, in practice, they do not treat all religions equally.

States with no official or preferred religion seek to avoid giving tangible benefits to one religious group over others although they may evenhandedly provide benefits to many religious groups. For example, the U. Many countries in this category have constitutional language calling for freedom of religion, although that language alone is not enough to include a country in this group; coders must determine that these countries do not systematically favor one or more religions over others.

States with a hostile relationship toward religion exert a very high level of control over religious institutions in their countries or actively take a combative position toward religion in general.

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Some of these countries may have constitutions that proclaim freedom of religion, or leaders who describe themselves as adherents of a particular religion, such as Islam. Nonetheless, their governments seek to tightly restrict the legal status, funding, clergy and political activity of religious groups.

This research is part of a broader effort to understand restrictions on religion around the world. The studies are part of the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures project, which analyzes religious change and its impact on societies around the world.

The rest of this report looks in more detail at countries with official state religions or preferred religions, as well as those with no preferred religion and those that are highly restrictive or hostile toward religion.

It also explores the implications of these categories. In Afghanistan, for example, Islam is the official state religion, stated explicitly in the constitution: One example of a preferred religion is Buddhism in Laos, where the constitution does not explicitly name Buddhism as an official state religion, but says: Buddhism also is exempted from some restrictions that apply to other religious groups.

Islam is world’s most common state religion — study

For example, the government allows the printing, import and distribution of Buddhist religious material while restricting the publication of religious materials for most other religious groups. The four traditional religions are given certain benefits: Students choosing to take a religious education course may choose between courses on the four traditional religions or a general course on world religions, and a government program funding military chaplains is restricted to chaplains of these four religions.

Within their borders, these countries treat different religions e. Broadly, the countries in this category can be said to maintain a clear separation of church and state. But it is not necessarily the case that these countries avoid any promotion or restriction of religious practice. China, for example, does not have an official state religion, nor does it have a preferred religion. Nor does it have a preferred or favored religion.

Under its one-party political system, however, it has had a heavily restrictive or even hostile state relationship with religion, strictly regulating and monitoring religious institutions. The state frequently detained, arrested or harassed members of both registered and unregistered religious groups in 2015.

Before the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, religion was tightly restricted by the state and sometimes harshly repressed. Since gaining independence, these predominantly Muslim countries have allowed nominal freedom of worship, and many of their leaders have publicly embraced Islam. Yet their governments have continued to monitor and control religious institutions, including mosques and Muslim clergy.

And there are four countries in sub-Saharan Africa where Islam is the state religion: Comoros, Djibouti, Mauritania and Somalia. No countries in Europe or the Americas have Islam as their official religion. Christianity is the second most common official religion around the world. Two countries in the Americas — Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic — and one in the Asia-Pacific region — Tuvalu — have Christianity as their official state religion.

Only one country in sub-Saharan Africa is officially Christian: Buddhism is the official religion in two countries, Bhutan and Cambodia.

Historical Islamic States.

Israel is the only country in the world with Judaism as its official state religion. Five countries in sub-Saharan Africa and three in the Asia-Pacific region have Christianity as the favored religion. After Christianity, Buddhism is the next most commonly favored religion. Three countries — Sudan, Syria and Turkey — favor Islam but do not declare it as the state religion. In some countries, multiple religions are favored to a similar extent by the state.

It may also provide these groups with legal or financial benefits, such as waiving the requirement to register as a religious group, providing funding or resources for religious education, or providing government subsidies.

Many Countries Favor Specific Religions, Officially or Unofficially

Half of states with official or preferred religions are in the Middle East or Europe From a regional perspective, the Middle East-North Africa region has the highest share of countries with an official state religion as of 2015.

Seventeen of the 20 countries that make up the region have a state religion — and in all of them except Israel, the state religion is Islam. Two others, Sudan and Syria, have a preferred or favored religion in both cases, also Islam. All of these countries have Christianity as the favored religion. At the same time, the State shall recognize the outstanding role of the Apostolic Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Georgia in the history of Georgia and its independence from the State.

Through the concordat, the GOC has a study on islamic state and religion not afforded to other religious groups, including legal immunity for the GOC patriarch and exemption from military service for GOC clergy. And unlike other religious organizations, the GOC is not required to pay a tax on profits from the sale of religious products, value-added taxes on religious imports, or taxes on activities related to the construction, restoration and painting of religious buildings.

Comoros, Djibouti, Mauritania, Somalia and Zambia. Zambia is the only one of the five that declares Christianity to be its state religion; the other four are officially Islamic. It restricts Muslim prayer to certain locations, regulates mosques and bars children those under 18 from participating in public religious activities.

Imams must be approved by the Committee on Religious Affairs, and the content of their sermons is controlled. The government also reportedly has surveillance cameras at mosques, and donations to mosques by individuals are banned.

Islamic State

And a few other countries fall at the other end of the spectrum, making their official religion mandatory for all citizens. Much more frequently, however, states with official religions do not make the religion mandatory, but do give it more benefits than other religions, and those states typically regulate other religious groups in the country.

In Jordan, for example, Islam is the state religion, and converts from Islam to Christianity were occasionally questioned and scrutinized by security forces in 2015. Non-Muslim religious groups must register to be able to own land and administer rites such as marriage. They are tax exempt, but do not receive subsidies. In these countries, adherence to the official religion is not mandatory, but other religions are not given the same benefits and their activities are sometimes heavily restricted by the government.

Public religious expression, persuasion or conversion by these groups is punishable by death. Other religions in the country, however, may be given similar benefits.

Among the 43 countries with official state religions, only three — all in Europe — meet these criteria: Liechtenstein, Malta and Monaco. Monaco, for example, designates Roman Catholicism as the state religion in its constitution: And while Catholic rituals play a part in some state ceremonies, the law also designates that no one may be compelled to participate in the rites or ceremonies of any religion or to observe its days of a study on islamic state and religion.

Comoros, Maldives, Mauritania and Saudi Arabia. While non-Muslims are allowed to worship in private, the government does not always respect this right and has raided such meetings of non-Muslims and detained or deported participants. And only one country with an official religion — Tuvalu — provides no significant funding or resources for religious education programs or religious schools. In many cases, governments also provide funding or resources for religious property, including for the maintenance, upkeep or repair of religious buildings or land.

In Bahrain, for example, Islam is the official religion, and the government funds all licensed mosques.

  1. Although composed of tribes, each of which is responsible for the conduct of its members, the ummah as a whole is to act collectively in enforcing social order and security and in confronting enemies in times of war and peace. A good survey to early Islamic political thought.
  2. Imams must be approved by the Committee on Religious Affairs, and the content of their sermons is controlled. From 2003 to 2015, the number of students in the imam hatip schools rose from 63,000 to about 1 million, and some secular parents have voiced concern that this amounts to heavy-handed government support of religion through education.
  3. How many Muslims are there? The studies are part of the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures project, which analyzes religious change and its impact on societies around the world.

For example, in Norway, the Church of Norway was the official state religion and the government provided the salaries, benefits and pension plans of all church employees in 2015. But when it comes to one of the most common kinds of benefits — states providing funding or resources to religious groups — there are wide variations in what governments provide and how they provide it. From 2003 to 2015, the number of students in the imam hatip schools rose from 63,000 to about 1 million, and some secular parents have voiced concern that this amounts to heavy-handed government support of religion through education.

In Burma Myanmarfor example, Buddhism is the unofficial, favored religion, and non-Buddhist religious groups reported difficulty repairing religious buildings and building new facilities.

Guatemala is one of these countries; the government provides tax exemptions for properties of all registered a study on islamic state and religion groups, while Catholicism is favored by the government in other ways. In Liberia, for instance, the government has provided tax exemptions and duty-free privileges to registered organizations, including missionary programs, religious charities and religious groups. This benefit was offered to all registered groups, and was not limited to Christians, the favored religion in Liberia.

For example, people in countries with official or preferred religions are more likely to support government promotion of religious values and beliefs, as well as government funding of the dominant church; they also tend to believe religion is important to their sense of national belonging. Another survey question asked Central and Eastern Europeans about their attitudes toward government funding of churches.

But two countries stand out: Still, for many Central and Eastern Europeans — including Greeks and Poles — religion plays an important role in their sense of national belonging. Members of the official or preferred faith also are much more likely than members of other religions to think the dominant faith is an important element in national belonging. There is no clear difference, for example, on views about democracy.

Government restrictions higher in countries with official or preferred religions In some ways, states that have an official or a study on islamic state and religion religion tend to behave differently from states that do not.

Not only are they more likely to provide financial or legal benefits to a single religion, but they also are more likely to place a high level of government restrictions on other religious groups. These restrictions are analyzed using the Government Restrictions Index GRIa 10-point scale measuring government laws, practices and actions that restrict religious beliefs and practices, with a score of 10 indicating the highest level of restrictions.

Muslims and Islam: Key findings in the U.S. and around the world