was established

List of state-established religions

The following is a list of countries recognizing an official religion.

Christian countries

The following states recognize some form of Christianity as their official religion (by denomination):

Roman Catholic

Jurisdictions which recognize Catholicism as their official religion:

Eastern Orthodox

Jurisdictions which recognize one of the Eastern Orthodox Churches as their official religion:

The Russian Federation maintains the separation of church and state. Nevertheless it recognizes the Russian Orthodox Church, part of the Eastern Orthodox communion, as well as Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam as "indigenous" to Russian soil. (preamble of the law on freedom of conscience 1997)

Oriental Orthodox

Jurisdictions which recognize one of the Oriental Orthodox Churches as their official religion:


Jurisdictions which recognize a Lutheran church as their official religion:

Until 2000, Sweden had the localized Lutheran Church as a state church. The Church of Sweden has now been relegated to the status of a national church. Finland's former state church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, was changed into a national church (along with the Finnish Orthodox Church, which was given the same position) through the church law of 1870, the constitution of 1919 and the law on religious freedom of 1922.


Jurisdictions which recognise an Anglican church as their state religion:


Jurisdictions which recognize a Reformed church as their official religion:

Islamic states

Countries which recognize Islam as their official religion:

Buddhist states

Countries which recognize Buddhism as their official religion:

Hindu states

There is no country which recognizes Hinduism as its official religion:

  • India - India is not a Hindu State. Although its populace constitutes of a Hindu majority (~80% Hindus, ~14% Muslims, ~2% Christians, ~%4 Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Jews, etc.), India is a secular state with a constitutionally and administratively guaranteed freedom to practice any religion.
  • Nepal - In May 2006, the Nepalese parliament decided to declare the country a secular state.

Jewish states

Note: Officially, Israel has no state religion or established church. A few personal status laws, in particular regarding marriage and divorce, are governed by state-recognized Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Druze authorities. As the Jewish state, however, its de facto state religion is Judaism.

Pluralist states

Secular states

Secular states do not profess any state religion and attempt to treat all religions equally. Countries that are secular are found in this list.

Established churches and former state churches in Europe

Country Church Denomination Disestablished
Albania1 none since independence
Andorra Roman Catholic Church Catholic no
Anhalt Evangelical Church of Anhalt Lutheran 1918
ArmeniaArmenian Orthodox ChurchOriental Orthodox1921
AustriaRoman Catholic ChurchCatholic1918
BadenRoman Catholic ChurchCatholic1918
BavariaRoman Catholic ChurchCatholic1918
Belarusnone since independence (1990/91)
Belgiumnone since independence (1830)
Bosnia and Herzegovinanone since independence (1992)
Brunswick-LüneburgEvangelical Church of BrunswickLutheran1918
BulgariaBulgarian Orthodox ChurchEastern Orthodox1946
Croatianone since independence
CyprusCypriot Orthodox ChurchEastern Orthodox?
Czech RepublicRoman Catholic ChurchCatholic?
DenmarkChurch of DenmarkLutheranno
EnglandChurch of EnglandAnglicanno
EstoniaChurch of EstoniaLutheran1940
Finland2Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland/Finnish Orthodox ChurchLutheran/Eastern Orthodoxno
FranceRoman Catholic ChurchCatholic1905
GeorgiaGeorgian Orthodox ChurchEastern Orthodox1921
GreeceChurch of GreeceEastern Orthodoxno
HesseEvangelical Church of Hesse and NassauLutheran1918
HungaryRoman Catholic ChurchCatholic1946
IcelandLuteran Evangelical ChurchLutheranno
IrelandRoman Catholic ChurchCatholic1871
ItalyRoman Catholic ChurchCatholic1984
LatviaRoman Catholic ChurchCatholic1940
LiechtensteinRoman Catholic ChurchCatholic?
LippeChurch of LippeReformed1918
LithuaniaRoman Catholic ChurchCatholic1940
LübeckNorth Elbian Evangelical ChurchLutheran1918
LuxembourgRoman Catholic ChurchCatholic?
Republic of Macedonianone since independence (1991)
MaltaRoman Catholic ChurchCatholicno
MecklenburgEvangelical Church of MecklenburgLutheran1918
Moldovanone since independence (1991)
MonacoRoman Catholic ChurchCatholic?
NetherlandsDutch Reformed ChurchReformed1795
NorwayChurch of NorwayLutheranno
OldenburgEvangelical Church of OldenburgLutheran1918
PolandRoman Catholic ChurchCatholic1918
PortugalRoman Catholic ChurchCatholic1911
Prussia13 provincial churchesLutheran1918
RomaniaRomanian Orthodox ChurchEastern Orthodox1947
RussiaRussian Orthodox ChurchEastern Orthodox1917
ThuringiaEvangelical Church in ThuringiaLutheran1918
SaxonyEvangelical Church of SaxonyLutheran1918
Schaumburg-LippeEvangelical Church of Schaumburg-LippeLutheran1918
ScotlandChurch of ScotlandReformedno
Serbia and MontenegroSerb Orthodox ChurchEastern Orthodox?
Slovakianone since independence (1993)
Slovenianone since independence (1991)
SpainRoman Catholic ChurchCatholic1978
SwedenChurch of SwedenLutheranJanuary 2000
Switzerlandnone since the adoption of the Federal Constitution (1848)
Ukrainenone since independence (1991)
WaldeckEvangelical Church of the Hesse Electorate and WaldeckLutheran1918
WalesChurch in WalesAnglican1920
WürttembergEvangelical Church of WürttembergLutheran1918

Note 1: In 1967, the Albanian government made atheism the "state religion". This designation remained in effect until 1991.

Note 2: Finland's State Church was the Church of Sweden until 1809. As an autonomous Grand Duchy under Russia 1809-1917, Finland retained the Lutheran State Church system, and a national church separate from Sweden was established. Since the independence in 1917, both the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the Finnish Orthodox Church have got a constitutionally established special status.

Former state churches in British North America

Colony Denomination Disestablished1
Connecticut Congregational 1818
Georgia Church of England
Massachusetts Congregational 17802
New Brunswick Church of England
New Hampshire Congregational 1790
Newfoundland Church of England
North Carolina Church of England ≤ 1776
Nova Scotia Church of England 1850
Prince Edward Island Church of England
South Carolina Church of England
Upper Canada Church of England 1854
Virginia Church of England 1786
West Indies Church of England 1868

Note 1: In several colonies, the establishment ceased to exist in practice at the Revolution, about 1776; this is the date of legal abolition.

Note 2: Replaced by a system which required every man to belong to a church, and permitted each church to tax its members. This was not, in theory, an establishment; but was sufficiently oppressive in practice, to be abolished in 1833.

See also

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