Encyclopedia of Law and Religion

Get access Subject: Law

Edited by: Gerhard Robbers and W. Cole Durham

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In recent years, issues of freedom of religion or belief and state-religion relations have become increasingly important worldwide. The Encyclopedia of Law and Religion, unique in its breadth and global coverage, provides an important foundational resource for study of these issues. The encyclopedia covers the relation between law and religion in its various aspects, including those related to the role of religion in society, the relations between religion and state institutions, freedom of religion, legal aspects of religious traditions, the interaction between law and religion, and other issues at the junction of law, religion, and state.

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Lao People’s Democratic Republic

(2,502 words)

Author(s): Michael Wiener
I. Social Facts According to the latest official Population Census in 2005, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic had a total population of 5.62 million, and is estimated to have 6.8 million people in 2014. In the official Census, 67% declared themselves as Buddhists and 1.5% as Christians, whereas Muslims and Bahá’ís represented less than 1%. Animism was not regarded as a religion and was included in the Census category “Other”, which accounted for about 31% of the population. These practitioners o…


(6,739 words)

Author(s): Ringolds Balodis
I. Social Facts According to publicly available data from 2011, there are approximately 2,067,887 inhabitants in Latvia. In terms of national or ethnic composition, more than 60% are ethnic Latvians and 26.9% are Russians. Among other ethnicities are Belarusians (3.3%), Ukrainians (2.2%), Poles (2.2%), Lithuanians (1.2%), Jews (0.3%), and Estonians (0.1%). Latvia is a multi-confessional country in which the three largest denominations are Protestantism, Catholicism, and Orthodoxy. The religious aff…

League of Arab States

(1,514 words)

Author(s): T. Jeremy Gunn
The League of Arab States (Arab League) is an intergovernmental organization consisting of 22 states (including Syria, whose membership was suspended in 2011) that is based in Cairo, Egypt. It was founded by six states in Cairo in 1945, shortly before the end of World War II. Its original members were Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Transjordan (now Jordan), Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the Kingdom of Yemen. It now includes all states bordering on the southern and eastern Mediterranean shores, from Morocco to…


(5,436 words)

Author(s): Nidal Nabil Jurdi
I. Social Facts The accurate religious demography of the Lebanese population has been a sensitive issue in Lebanon. The various religious communities were given proportionate representation in public life and political status. Therefore, many social, political, and cultural aspects remain dependent on the size of the sect. The last official census was conducted in 1938. The reason for not holding another one is related to the rejection of some groups of the new realities in the demographic map of L…


(2,316 words)

Author(s): Angelo Dube
I. Social Facts Current government estimates place Lesotho’s population at 1.9 million. Statistics of religious affiliation indicate that 90% of the population is Christian. Approximately half of Christians are Roman Catholic; the other half are largely Protestant and include Anglicans, Methodists, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), and others, as well as newer charismatic churches operating under the banner of ministries. Zionism is also widely practiced in rural…