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State Church
(1,054 words)

[German Version]


As one type of relationship between church and state, a state church is a church incorporated into the state in such a way that it appears to be a state institution. As a result, the state not only has the right to intervene in the internal governance of the church (staffing, deciding doctrinal conflicts, disposition of church property, etc.; Church polity) but also may use the church for state purposes.


The history of state churches began when Theodosius I made the Christian church the only recognized church of the Roman Empire (Reichski…

Cite this page
Link, Christoph, “State Church”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 12 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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