Encyclopedia of Law and Religion

Get access Subject: Law

Edited by: Gerhard Robbers and W. Cole Durham

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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(6,281 words)

Author(s): Juan G. Navarro Floria
I. Social Facts The Argentine Republic, the eighth-largest country in the world, has a population of nearly 41 million inhabitants. Argentina’s considerable ethnic diversity began with the 16th-century mestizaje (racial mixture) between the scarce indigenous population and the Spanish conquerors, and continued with the major immigration flow from the turn of the 19th century into the early 20th century, mostly of Italians and Spanish, but with significant contributions from other European countries, Arabs, Jews, and—in the…


(5,364 words)

Author(s): Vahan Bournazian
I. Social Facts Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity as its official religion, upon the conversion of the king in 301 CE, and Armenian national identity has long been intrinsically linked with the Armenian Apostolic Church. The national church founded at the time of conversion, this Church belongs to the Oriental Orthodox line of churches, which principally includes the Syriac, Coptic, and Ethiopian Churches. As of the 2011 census, Armenia had a total population of 2.8 million, and 90% of the population self-identified as Armenian Apostolic. Still, a number of other r…


(658 words)

Author(s): Ryan Andersen
I. Social Facts The island nation of Aruba is a constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands located 25 kilometers north of Venezuela. Aruba has an area of roughly 190 square kilometers and its name originates with the native Arawak language. The Dutch comprise the largest ethnic group on Aruba, making up approximately 80% of the population. Arubans with ethnic origins in Colombia, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti comprise roughly 12% of Aruba’s estimated 112,162 permanent …

Ashmore and Cartier Islands

(25 words)

Author(s): not-specified
See Australian External Territories (Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos [Keeling] Islands, Norfolk Island). Not Specified Bibliography  

Association of Southeast Asian Nations

(3,267 words)

Author(s): Alison Duxbury
I. Background The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is an intergovernmental organization comprising ten member states in Southeast Asia: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Burma (Myanmar), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The organization was established in 1967 by the Bangkok Declaration as an informal association of the five original members (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand), designed to promote economic growth and peac…


(12,011 words)

Author(s): Paul Babie
I. Social Facts Australia is less a religious nation than a spiritual one; thus, while few people profess an affiliation to a specific church or religious organization or institution, many consider themselves to be “spiritual”, by which is meant “an experiential journey of encounter and relationship with otherness, with powers, forces and beings beyond the scope of everyday life” (Bouma, 2006, 12). Spirituality can be something which is developed as a personal matter, or it may draw on a number of …

Australian External Territories (Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos [Keeling] Islands, Norfolk Island)

(2,307 words)

Author(s): Paul Babie
I. Application of Commonwealth Law Relating to Religion in Australian External Territories Much of the Commonwealth of Australia law regulating religion outlined in the Australia article applies to Australia’s external territories. Commonwealth legislation governing the external territories of Australia applies federal law in one of two ways: either it excludes its operation unless an act expressly states that it applies to that Territory ( Norfolk Island Act (Cth) s 18(1)), or it applies all federal laws unless they are expressly excluded in an act ( Christmas Island Act 1958 (Ct…


(4,417 words)

Author(s): Richard Potz
I. Social Facts The population of Austria is 8.443 million (2012). Of these 63.8% are members of the Roman Catholic Church and 3.8% of Protestant churches, consisting of a great Lutheran majority and a Reformed minority. The number of Orthodox Christians has increased in recent years due to immigration and is estimated to be from 4 to 5% of the population. Six percent are Muslims (mostly Sunni) and and Alevites, of whom more than half are of Austrian nationality, and an estimated 0.15 to 0.2% are J…