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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(8,192 words)

Author(s): Miguel Gómez Rosales
I. Social Facts Bolivia’s has 10,389,913 inhabitants, of whom approximately 84% are Christian; of those, 73% are Catholic and 11% Protestant or Evangelical. In addition, it is estimated that 3% of the population is atheist, 1% Andean spiritualist ( Pachamama), and the rest of other religions or beliefs. In many areas, Christian Protestant churches have gained ground over Catholicism. The indigenous people of the east, such as the Chiquitos and Moxos, maintain close ties with Catholicism, a product of the cultural mestizaje inherited from the Jesuit missions of the 17th century. In rec…

Bosnia and Herzegovina

(5,245 words)

Author(s): John Gibbons
I. Social Facts A good and short description of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) comes from Mirela Rožajac: “There is nothing simple about BiH, even for people who have spent their whole [lives] there. It is a small and beautiful country with a complicated background, [so] complicated that people usually give up trying to understand it” (2005). Three religions predominate society in BiH: Islam, Orthodox Christianity, and Roman Catholicism. Muslims constitute 40% of the population, 31% are Orthodox, and 15% are Roman Catholic. All other religions, includi…


(3,825 words)

Author(s): Rowland J.V. Cole
I. Social Facts Botswana lies in the southern part of Africa and occupies a total area of 600,370 sq. km. The country is landlocked and bounded by South Africa to the south and southeast, Zimbabwe to the northeast, Zambia and Namibia to the north, and Namibia to the west. Most of the country is semi-arid with the Kalahari Desert occupying the western part. The Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world, occupies the northwest. Botswana attained independence from Britain on 30 September 1…

Bouvet Island

(9 words)

Author(s): not-specified
forthcoming Not Specified Bibliography  


(12,766 words)

Author(s): Rodrigo Vitorino Souza Alves
I. Social Facts Brazil is one of the most populous countries in the world. According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, the country’s population was almost 191 million people in 2010, and the estimated population by 2015 is 204 million. The majority of Brazilians live near the Atlantic Coast and the most populous regions are the Southeast and the Northeast. The population of Brazil comprises a great number of ethnic groups, and there exists a great degree of cultural and religi…

British Antarctic Territory

(23 words)

Author(s): not-specified
See Former British Dependencies (British Antarctic Territory, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands). Not Specified Bibliography  

British Indian Ocean Territory

(309 words)

Author(s): David McClean
The Chagos Archipelago was ceded to the United Kingdom by France in 1814 and until 1965 was administered as part of Mauritius. In the latter year it was detached from Mauritius (then still a colony of the United Kingdom) and became a separate Territory. That was in preparation for the use of the main island, Diego Garcia, as a United States base. When the United States required the use of the base, the resident population was left without employment and departed to live in Mauritius. In later co…


(3,463 words)

Author(s): Ann Black
I. Social Facts The population of the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam (“Brunei the Abode of Peace”) is approximately 450,000 in total, which includes permanent and temporary residents (foreign workers). The majority of the population is Malay and Muslim (67%), with Buddhists 13% and Christians 10%. Another 10% are followers of indigenous animistic beliefs, Hinduism or other faiths, or no religion. As Brunei is a sultanate, Islam is the religion of the state, and the Sunni tradition, Shafeite school, is constitutionally endorsed. With a majority Muslim population, most places …


(5,122 words)

Author(s): Atanas Krussteff
I. Social Facts The population of Bulgaria belongs predominantly to Orthodox Christianity. Census surveys over the course of a century show that more than 80% of the total population declare themselves to be Orthodox. According to the latest 2011 census, this number is 76%, which is a substantial decrease compared to previous surveys. The Muslim population densely inhabits certain parts of the country, mainly southeast and northeast Bulgaria. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, Muslims comprised about 10% of the whole population of Bulgaria. Because neither major religion i…

Burkina Faso

(1,821 words)

Author(s): Dr Sanwé Médard Kiénou
I. Social Facts Burkina Faso has about 16 million inhabitants. Muslims represent 60% of the population, Catholics 20%, animists 15%, and Protestants 5%. Muslims are mostly Sunni and Protestants are mostly Evangelicals. According to an adage of this country, “in Burkina Faso, there are 60% Muslims, 25% Christians, but 100% animists.” This adage refers to religious syncretism in the worship practice of the majority of the population. II. Historical Background Burkina Faso is a country where African traditional religions (animism) have been historically practiced. Is…

Burma (Myanmar)

(4,573 words)

Author(s): M. Brian Sabey
I. Social Facts There has been no census in Burma since 1983, but official estimates place the population around 56 million, with 49 million (89% of the population) professing Theravada Buddhism. Christianity claims the allegiance of 2 to 2.5 million (4%): roughly 1.7 million are Baptist (3%) while nearly 0.6 million are Roman Catholic (1%). Another 2 to 2.5 million (4%) are Muslim (mostly Sunni), and about 0.6 million are Folk Religionists/Animists (1%). About 1.1 million people follow some other …


(2,969 words)

Author(s): Liboire Kagabo
I. Social Facts According to the 2008 General Census, the population of Burundi was 8,053,574. The religious statistics are calculated using all people aged ten and older, of whom there were 5,332,416. The Roman Catholic Church had 3,443,455 members (64.57%); the Protestant Churches—mostly Pentecostals, Anglicans, and members of Evangelical movements—had 1,140,759 members (21.39%); Muslims accounted for 134,001 (2.5%); the Adventist Church had 119,059 members (2.2%); Jehovah’s Witnesses were 17,887…