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National Religions

National Religions


This lesson will explain national religions

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[MUSIC PLAYING] Hello and welcome to this tutorial on national religions. In this tutorial, we're going to be talking about states or nations that have an officially endorsed religion. A teaching, a creed, practices, that they consider to be the official religion of the nation.

Let's take a look first at the Church of England. The Church of England is the English branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion. When I say it's the English branch, it really is the first branch, of course, of the Anglican Communion.

It got started when Henry VIII-- the short version is that Henry VIII wanted to get divorced. So the Church of England broke with Rome. And ever since then, the Church of England has been independent from the Roman Catholic Church.

So the English monarch is the head of the Church. And the church also performs important state functions. So the monarch approves church appointments-- the appointment of bishops and high-ranking church officials. And the church, in turn, crowns the monarch. So this system is in place in England. And it's doubtful-- or at least it would be very difficult-- for this situation to ever change. Because if it did, it would cause a constitutional crisis in the country. So the Church of England is likely to remain the official state church of England.

When we talk about state religion, it need not be a theocracy. A theocracy happens when the clergy-- the ministers of a religion-- are actually running the country. Or the authority of the government rests on religious principles and religious oversight.

A state religion can have a minimal role in government and society. The state religion isn't necessarily signing off on all the provisions of government. So you could say there's an overlap between theocracy and state religion. But a theocracy is really a much stronger form of state religion.

So they have certain things in common. But speaking about state religions, they generally are not running every single aspect of the government. They're not dictating people's individual choices. And there's really a secular society apart from the state religion.

Thanks for watching this tutorial on national religions. We discuss national churches using the example of the Church of England. Which is the official state church of England that crowns the monarch. And the monarch in turn, approves church appointments.

We said that a state religion need not be a theocracy. And that it can have minimal role and government and society. So a state religion is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state. And a national church is a Christian church associated with a specific ethnic group or a nation state.

Terms to Know
National Church

A concept of a Christian church associated with a specific ethnic group or nation state.

State Religion

A religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state.