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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(13,135 words)

Author(s): Silvia Tellenbach
I. Social Facts The population of the Islamic Republic of Iran amounts to approximately 81 million. The overwhelming majority, about 90%, are Shi’i Muslims. About 9% are Sunni Muslims, most of them belonging to ethnic minorities such as Kurds, Arabs, Baluchis, and Turkmen, living in the northwest, southwest, southeast, and northeast of the country. About 3 to 5 million are followers of mystic Sufi orders. There is an age-old conflict between the mysticism of the Sufis and the orthodoxy of the cleri…


(5,902 words)

Author(s): Aline Marie Longstaff | Tara Fitzgerald
I. Social Facts  Due to violence, internal migration, and limited governmental tracking capability, religious demography statistics vary. Numbers are often estimated by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and religious or community leaders. It is estimated that the population of Iraq is roughly 32 million people with 99% being Muslim (60-65% Shia and 32-37% Sunni), and the rest consisting of approximately 0.8% Christian, 0.1% unaffiliated, and less than 0.1% Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, folk religion…


(5,358 words)

Author(s): Paul Colton
I. Social Facts The island of Ireland encompasses two jurisdictions: the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. This article deals with the Republic of Ireland, which is referred to throughout as “Ireland”, the name assigned in Bunreacht na hÉireann (the Irish Constitution). The religious landscape of modern Ireland is a complex phenomenon. Many still profess religious belief and adherence. Although there has been a considerable decline in levels of religious practice, particularly in urban and suburban …

Isle of Man

(1,780 words)

Author(s): David McClean
I. Historical, Legal, and Social Background The Isle of Man is a Crown Dependency, the monarch of the United Kingdom being “Lord of Mann”. For a time part of Scotland, the Isle of Man came under the English Crown in 1399. It was granted to the Stanley family who ruled the island as Lords of Mann through governors, with a brief interruption during the English Civil War, until 1736 when the Lordship passed to the Dukes of Atholl. Eventually the UK Parliament passed the Isle of Man Purchase Act 1765, whi…


(12,159 words)

Author(s): Asher Maoz
The approach to religion in the State of Israel is inherently eclectic, combining traditional and new theories, freedom from religion and religious coercion, freedom of religion from state intervention, communal and individual rights, and equality among religions and differential treatment of them. These principles are rooted in historical, theological, political, and national grounds. Perhaps the most significant factor contributing to this complexity is the unique role of this part of the worl…


(13,245 words)

Author(s): Silvio Ferrari | Alessandro Ferrari
I. Social Facts Italy has long been considered the Catholic country par excellence, mainly because the papacy has its seat in Italy, which gives the Catholic Church great influence on the political and social events of the country. However, official data about the religious affiliation of Italians is not available. The national census does not include information on religious affiliation, as the collection of such information is considered incompatible with the secular character of the state. Following a tr…