Separation between the state and religious institutions

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The 10 Commandments in front of the county seat of Bradford County (Florida) , in front of which a memorial of the American Atheists for the separation of state and religion

The separation between the state and religious institutions is to be understood as the models of constitutional or state church law that arose in the course of the European Enlightenment and secularization , in which state and churches as well as other religious communities - unlike in the state church or a theocracy - are organizationally separated by state laws. In the European context, this is often summarized under the catchphrase specific to the Christian churches: separation of state and church .

These separation models can take different forms. They range from the restrictive ban on the practice of religion in public space, as for example in Albania 1968–1990 ( state atheism ), through the particularly strict separation between religion and state in public schools and other state bodies ( secularism ) to various forms of cooperation in where a separation of the areas of responsibility and implementation is in principle maintained. In cooperation forms ( round table, School lessons, etc. Religions and world views are no longer traditionally viewed as allies with a similar position of power, because the state claims a legal monopoly on them, but their preferential treatment and sustainable protection for their free development are viewed as a public matter. This is why these weak forms of separation, while largely preserving the ideological neutrality of the state, also permit selective partnerships with religious and ideological communities . Political theories and attitudes that seek to promote a radical separation in favor of secular and atheist positions in society are known as secularism .

Constitutional situation in various states


According to constitutional law ( Art. 137 of the Weimar Constitution , WRV), there is no state church in Germany.

After the end of the First World War and the previous system of state churches, the Weimar National Assembly reorganized the relationship between churches and state in the Weimar Constitution in 1919. It did not fall back on an understanding of secularism that preceded the constitution, but created its own set of rules based on religious freedom , ideological neutrality of the state and self-determination of all religious communities. The practice of religion was not declared a private matter, but remained a public matter, which was withdrawn from the state. This concept was first developed in 1926 by Ulrich Stutz, referred to as a "limping separation" because the separation is open to cooperation and may even make it necessary. These principles were legally laid down in Articles 135 to 141 of the Weimar Constitution. Of these, Articles 136 to 139 and Article 141 through Article 140 of the Basic Law are still part of the current state church and constitutional law.

The preamble of the Basic Law begins with: "Conscious of his responsibility before God and people, ...". The Basic Law is thus monotheistic and the relationship between churches or religious communities and the state is therefore based on partnership. There are concordats and other state church treaties . The ideological neutrality of the state, which is not allowed to identify with any religious community, gives rise to “common matters” ( res mixtae ). For example, religious societies under public law are allowed to pay church tax (in the case of the JewishMunicipalities differently called cultural tax) levy. In practice, in most cases, this tax is collected by the state tax authorities on behalf of the churches against reimbursement of costs and, in the case of dependent employees, paid as withholding tax by the employer. Christian holidays are protected by the constitution ( Art. 139 WRV). According to the Basic Law ( Art. 7 , Paragraph 3, Clause 1 or Art. 141 ), religious education is a regular subject at state schools. Crosses hang in some courtrooms and schools . In the latter case, however, as a result of the crucifix resolution of theFederal Constitutional Court , if a student feels his (negative) freedom of religion has been violated and it is not a denominational school . Christian kindergartens and schools are funded by the state, like other private schools, in the framework of basic services and to realize the freedom of private schools ; In some cases the funding is higher and in some cases lower than that of the other independent organizations. Around 10 percent of schools in Germany are church-sponsored.

Many state-funded universities have theological faculties . Because of the ideological neutrality of the state, its teaching body and content orientation must be largely determined by the churches. In addition, some universities outside of the theological faculties maintain so-called concordat chairs , which are financed by the state, but the Catholic Church has a say in filling them. The constitutional admissibility of the concordat chairs is controversial.

An important legal principle in Germany is that the state can organizationally integrate the religious communities, but cannot dictate their content to them, because the state must observe the constitutionally protected freedom of religion ( Art. 4 , Paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Basic Law).

Controversial debates arise when something is changed in the relationship between state and church or religion, as in the case of the Brandenburg lifestyle, ethics and religious studies lessons or the ban on crucifixes or headscarves in schools. The introduction of Islamic religious instruction is also controversialat state schools; in this case mainly because there is currently no partner available for the state, according to whose beliefs it could be taught. For this reason, some forms of Islamic religious instruction have been developed in which the state is solely responsible for teaching Islamic religious doctrine, which, however, is extremely problematic under the aspect of state neutrality and the separation of state and religion. Also in connection with the speech of Pope Benedict XVI. Before the Bundestag during the Pope's visit to Germany in 2011 , there were intense debates about the ideological neutrality of the state.

Religious symbols in public spaces are permitted, but are occasionally rejected, as shown by the crucifix dispute and the headscarf dispute .

There is criticism of the relationship between state and church in Germany from atheist, agnostic, secular (e.g. Humanist Union ) and liberal circles. They call for a separation of state and religion in a secular sense and criticize that the Christian churches and other religious communities in Germany have too much influence or that they are given too much influence by politics.

Organizations such as the Humanist Association of Germany, on the other hand, call for certain alleged privileges to be dismantled through simple abolition, such as B. the termination of the state collection of church taxes or historical state services , but also represent a policy of abolishing privileges through equal treatment in other areas.

From June 2018, by decision of the Bavarian state government, a cross must be placed in the entrance area of ​​every service building in the state as an “expression of the historical and cultural character of Bavaria”. After criticism from the churches after this secular reinterpretation of the Christian cross symbol and a feared political instrumentalization, the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder made it clear that for him the cross was "primarily a religious symbol", "but also one of the foundations of the state" belong. A majority of Bavarians agree to this obligation, according to a survey. According to another survey, a majority of Germans reject such an obligation to cross.

See also: discrimination against atheists ; State Church Treaty # Church treaties of the German states ; Religious privilege ; Reich Concordat ; Reichsdeputationshauptschluss ; Kulturkampf ; Slaughter judgment ; List of denominations of the heads of government in Germany .


The religious freedom in Austria sat mostly in the period from 1781 to 1919 in several steps. Associated with this was the state recognition of several religions (meanwhile a good two dozen denominations and religious communities). The supremacy of the Roman Catholic Church in Austria , the house religion of the Habsburgs and thus de facto state religion, and to this day the confession of the overwhelming majority of Austrians, was only gradually dismantled in the second half of the 20th century and ousted from state concerns. For example, the Concordat with the Holy See from 1933 (under Dollfuss) as a treaty under international law. Among the more important political parties in Austria , even the ÖVP is only programmatic and, among other things, Christian-social .

The incomplete separation of church and state can be found today in addition to the supervision of the Office of Education (currently located at the Federal Chancellery) mainly in general protective regulations that represent an intervention by the state in religious matters, such as Section 8 Offenses against Religious Peace, Criminal Code , including in particular the prohibition of the degradation of religious teachings (" Blasphemy paragraph"), or guaranteed protective and special rights in the course of state recognition , which primarily relate to public law matters such as religious education , subsidization forCharity , representation in public media ( religious broadcasts ) and the like. The public holidays are still Catholic throughout (Article IX Concordat 1933).


In Switzerland there is no complete separation of religion and state. Article 15 of the Federal Constitution guarantees freedom of belief and conscience : Every person has the right to freely choose their religion and ideological conviction , no one may be forced to join or belong to a religious community. But the preamble to the Federal Constitution begins with “In the Name of God Almighty…” The text of the current national anthem is the “ Swiss Psalm”, inspired by religiosity and patriotism .

Pursuant to Article 72 of the Federal Constitution, it is up to the cantons to define the relationship between church and state in more detail . Each canton regulates this relationship differently against the background of its history and different degrees of integration and disentanglement. In many cantons, the membership fees of religious communities recognized under public law are collected as church tax via the tax bill, and there is also a legal separation between religious institutions and the state in the cantons of Geneva and Neuchâtel .

historical development

The split in the church during the Reformation in Switzerland led to the state (the cantons) increasing its control over the church. In the reformed cantons, the state took over the supervision of the church organization and appropriated church property, with which it previously financed church tasks in social affairs and in the cultural field. In most of the cantons there was no religious freedom . In the 17th century, the state church was consolidated in most of the Reformed towns . In the cantons that remained Catholic, too , the state increased control over the church, but in the sense of a defense against the new faith.

Only the constitution of the Helvetic Republic of 1798 provided for freedom of conscience and worship. The clergy were excluded from political life, the monasteries were expropriated and the admission of novices was forbidden. With the mediation act of 1803, the cantons regained responsibility for ecclesiastical affairs, whereby one or two state religions (the Reformed, the Catholic or both) were established for each as a result of the new demarcation and the restitution of the monastery property was prescribed.

The Sonderbund War of 1847 brought the victory of the liberal cantons and the implementation of a federal system. The Federal Constitution of 1848, however, left the church system to the competence of the cantons. It was essentially content with the guarantee of freedom of worship for the two main denominations throughout Switzerland, the ban on the Jesuit order and the exclusion of the clergy from the national and federal councils.

In connection with the Kulturkampf , the Federal Constitution of 1874 expanded these state church law framework provisions: on the one hand, it guaranteed the general principle of religious freedom and the right to marriage (in the case of the nationalization of civil status), and on the other hand, it tightened the exceptional articles directed primarily against the Catholic Church . The cantons and the Holy See settled questions relating to diocese organization in concordats . In traditionally reformed, by the liberalsIn the ruled cantons, church organization was democratized. The state church, headed by a denominational authority, became a regional church in accordance with the liberal-democratic principles of order, to which the state granted a certain autonomy. In Catholic areas, liberal governments, with the tolerance of the Apostolic See , succeeded in setting up state church structures (parishes) in addition to the canonical order in the Roman Catholic churches .

After the Second Vatican Council , the relationship with the Roman Catholic Church relaxed both in politically liberal and in church-reformed circles. This led to the repeal of two confessional exemptions in 1973 (prohibition of the Jesuit order and the establishment of new monasteries). In 1999 the electoral ban for clergymen was lifted and finally in 2001 the diocese article (establishment of new dioceses only with federal approval) was deleted from the federal constitution.

On March 2, 1980, the Swiss population voted on a popular initiative “regarding the complete separation of church and state” by amending Article 51 of the (old) federal constitution. Parliament's recommendation to reject the initiative was followed by a clear majority of 78.9 percent of the valid votes. A separation at the cantonal level was rejected in the canton of Zurich on December 4, 1977 with 73% no votes and a second time on September 24, 1995 with 64.8% no votes.

In 1990 the Federal Supreme Court ruled crucifixes in classrooms as a violation of the duty of religious neutrality in public schools (BGE 116 Ia 252 ff.).

On November 29, 2009, the Swiss voters approved a new exceptional article in the federal constitution (minaret ban) with a majority of 57% of the votes.

Regulation at the cantonal level

In all Swiss cantons - with the exception of the separated cantons of Geneva and Neuchâtel - a system of state church sovereignty applies, also known as the regional church. In contrast to the state church, it takes into account the difference in purpose between state and church. In contrast to the system of separation, the churches remain connected to the state, but the state is religiously neutral. He recognizes the religious communities as a corporation under public law (" regional churches ") and thus shows that he considers their tasks to be important.

The individual rights and obligations associated with recognition under public law can vary from canton to canton. Generally speaking, in the traditionally reformed cantons, for a long time, the former state church tied closer to the state, while the Catholic cantons granted the churches more freedom to organize themselves. More recently, however, these connections have been significantly loosened in almost all cantons; There are only special state church laws in three reformed cantons, namely Bern , Vaud and Zurich .

Most cantonal constitutions, however, prescribe - in the traditional Protestant regional church tradition - the churches recognized under public law to organize themselves democratically. For the Roman Catholic Church, this leads to a “dual system”: in addition to the parishes, which are democratically organized according to state church law , there is a non-democratic governance structure that functions according to canon law with Pope, bishops and pastors who are responsible for pastoral care, sacramental and pastoral matters. This parallel organization sometimes leads to tensions within the church, for example in the case of parish elections, for example in the Röschenz case .

As a rule, the recognized religious communities have the right to levy church taxes on the basis of the state tax assessment. With the exception of Basel-Stadt , the cantons are responsible for collecting taxes. In addition to the cantons of Aargau , Appenzell Ausserrhoden , Basel-Stadt, Geneva, Neuchâtel, Schaffhausen , Ticino , Vaud and Valais , legal entities are also subject to church tax in the other 17 cantons. In contrast to natural persons, they cannot free themselves from this by leaving the church. The federal courthas decided several times, most recently in June 2000 (BGE 126 I 122), that legal persons cannot invoke freedom of belief. However, this is increasingly criticized in legal theory.

In many cantons, recognized religious communities have the right to use rooms in public schools for their religious instruction.

The state finances the theological faculties at the state universities; there are Protestant theological faculties in Basel , Bern , Geneva , Lausanne , Neuchâtel and Zurich , faculties for Catholic theology in Friborg and Lucerne, and the department for Christian Catholic theology of the University of Bern . There is also the church-sponsored Chur Theological University , which is financially supported by the canton.

All cantons except Geneva and Neuchâtel have recognized the Protestant Reformed and Roman Catholic Churches, nine cantons also have the Christian Catholic Church recognized under public law. The five cantons of Basel-Stadt, Bern, Freiburg , St. Gallen and Zurich also grant the Jewish communities their status under public law; in Zurich only two of the four municipalities applied for it. All other religious communities have to organize themselves as associations or foundations under private law. In Basel-Stadt and Vaud, certain Islamic communities also enjoy official, so-called “minor recognition” from the state, and Neuchâtel is to join this group as another canton (as of 2016).

Special regulations

Neuchâtel and Geneva : Only the cantons of Geneva and Neuchâtel have an extensive separation of church and state, Geneva since 1907, Neuchâtel since 1941. Since church tax in both cantons is collected by the state, it is difficult to finance the churches . The separation of church and state as well as the secularity of the state are explicitly laid down in the revised Neuchâtel constitution of 2000. Nevertheless, in a Concordat in 2001, the Reformed, Roman Catholic and Christian Catholic Churches were recognized as of public interest and they were awarded an annual subsidy totaling 1.5 million Swiss francs.

In the canton of Vaud , the Reformed Church was the state church from 1885. With the new constitution of 2003 it became independent and received - like the new Roman Catholic Church - recognition under public law. The two churches are largely financed from the ordinary state taxes, so that both natural and legal persons are indirectly involved in their financing. Those who do not belong to either of the two churches can reclaim the parish share (cult costs) of their community taxes, but not the cantonal tax share.

In the canton of Bern , the pastors of the three regional churches (Reformed, Catholic and Christian Catholic Church) are paid by the state, i.e. from general tax money, not from church tax. In return, their posts must be approved by the cantonal parliament. The Jewish communities of Biel and Bern have been recognized under public law as “Jewish communities in the canton of Bern” since 1997 and are largely on an equal footing with the regional churches. The rabbi is paid by the canton.

Diocese of Basel: The diocesan institutions of the Catholic Church are financed with the help of state benefits agreed with the cantons and, since 1971, through contributions from the cantonal regional churches.

Since the introduction of the “ Law on the Separation of Churches and State ” in 1905, the French state has been largely separated from religious institutions


France has been a secular state since 1905 (although the term secularity is first mentioned in the Constitution of the Fourth Republic of 1946), in which the separation of church and state goes comparatively far. Religious symbols in state institutions (including at school), for example, are generally not permitted.

In France, during the French Revolution, as part of the de-Christianization on September 18, 1794 , the National Convention decided to separate church and state. This radical step was rejected by the vast majority of the French who were connected to the Catholic Church and was soon reversed: On July 15, 1801, Napoleon concluded a concordat with the Papal States . It concerned relations between the French government and the Catholic Church. Organic articles enacted in 1802 regulated the conduct of religious practice throughout France; they were valid until 1905.

In the second half of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century who ruled the Catholic Church of the anti-modernism . This trend turned - based on the decrees of Pope Pius IX. - among other things against social and political reforms to enforce human rights and democracy .

Although since the beginning of the Third Republic in 1870 there have been repeated plans to separate the religious institutions from the state, initially there were only changes in the school system. Under the aegis of the then Education Minister Jules Ferry , schools in France were not only free for all children from 1881 onwards, but they were also largely freed from religious influence.

It was not until 1905, not least as a result of the Dreyfus affair , that the law separating church and state resulted in a complete legal separation of church and state. After long and heated debates, both the French Chamber of Deputies on July 3 and the Senate on December 6 approved the bill, it became law. Exceptions to this are the departments of Moselle , Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin , which at that time did not belong to France, but from 1871 to 1918 - as the realm of Alsace-Lorraine  - to the German Empire; them was in state church lawRegarding the repatriation law, the continued validity of local law ( Droit local en Alsace et en Moselle ) and thus the status of the Napoleonic Concordat of 1801 is granted. As a result, Catholic, Evangelical Lutheran and Evangelical Reformed pastors and rabbis are still state officials in these three departments.

As a result of the separation of state and church, all church buildings were declared public property: cathedrals fell to the state, parish churches and chapels to the municipalities. Because the churches can no longer dispose of their buildings autonomously, but are always dependent on the state and municipalities with regard to their use - sometimes to a greater, sometimes to a lesser extent, the churches became subordinate to the state.

The churches have been restricted to the cultic area since 1905. Charitable tasks must be carried out by independent organizations; one such example is the refugee relief organization of the Église Reformée , CIMADE .



Crucifix above the entrance door in the plenary hall of the Sejm

After gaining independence in 1918/1919, Art. 114 of the Polish constitution of March 17, 1921 anchored a special closeness between the state and the Roman Catholic Church , calling it “the leading among denominations with equal rights ”. Article 54 implicitly restricted access to the office of President to Trinitarian Christians through the wording of the swearing formula . This was stated in Article 19 of the Constitution of April 23, 1935Maintained accordingly; in addition, in accordance with Art. 81, Paragraph 3, the provisions of Art. 114 of the previous Constitution continued to apply. The amendment of February 19, 1947 suspended the aforementioned provisions and otherwise did not deal with the relationship between the state and the church.

From 1952 to 1997, an express separation of church and state was anchored in Article 70, Paragraph 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution of July 22, 1952 .

With the entry into force of the constitution of April 2, 1997 , the separation of church and state in favor of the mutually effective basic principles of " autonomy " ( Polish autonomia ), " sovereignty " (niezależność) and " Cooperation ” (współdziałanie) is canceled. These are supplemented by a unilateral requirement of “impartiality” (bezstronność) on the part of the state with regard to religion and belief (Art. 25, Paragraph 2). A distinction is made in the constitution between churches and “other religious communities”, but according to Art. 25, Paragraph 1, these enjoy equal rights; non-religiousWeltanschauung communities , however, are not equated with these in constitutional law. In addition, the special relationship between the state and the Roman Catholic Church is taken into account by emphasizing the mutual relationship in Article 25 (4).

In addition to the religious and ideological rights of citizens, Article 53 of the constitution regulates other issues relating to the relationship between the state and the church. In para. 2, there is the right to ownership of temples and other cult facilities and in para. 4 of the religious educationanchored. Accordingly, it is permissible that the religion of the churches and other publicly recognized religious communities - but not the worldview of the non-religious worldview communities - is taught in schools. Article 53 (4) leaves it open as to whether religious instruction can also be declared a regular or compulsory subject. At the same time, it does not specify whether the churches and religious communities are entitled to religious instruction. The state does not exercise any sovereignty over the teaching content and training of teachers and leaves this to the denominations.

Article 53, Paragraph 7 of the Constitution stipulates that church membership may not be registered by the state in relation to persons, so it is only recorded by the churches and “other religious communities”. The church-registered membership results for the persons concerned that the mutual relationship between them and the church, z. B. related to data protection, is viewed by the state as an internal church matter. Recent jurisprudence explains that the Catholic Church can decide for itself who is and who is not a member. This also affects people who declare their exit and deny their membership. From the church's point of view, which is explicitly supported by the Polish state in terms of data protection, it is not possible to leave the church . The court denied the admissibility of a constitutional action by those concerned. With a further order of the Administrative Court Opole dated January 21, 2013 it was expressly pointed out that an apostasy carried out according to canon lawdoes not represent an effective exit from the church for the state side with consequences under public law (e.g. data protection law).

The Concordat, signed on July 28, 1993 by Krzysztof Skubiszewski , Foreign Minister of the executive cabinet Suchocka , but ratified under the new constitution in 1998 due to constitutional concerns, grants the Roman Catholic Church special rights, which are only partially based on laws on other churches and "other religious communities" were expanded. Among other things, in addition to the financing of religious education, the Polish state is responsible for maintaining the Catholic theological chairs in Krakow and Lublin and the Catholic (alongside the Orthodox and Protestant) military ordinariateimposed. The unique position of the Roman Catholic Church is also manifested in the fact that the Catholic-Church marriage  - but not that of other denominations - unfolds consequences under civil law and the Catholic priests are on an equal footing with the registrars in this regard .

According to an ordinance of the Ministry of Education in Poland, crosses are allowed to be hung in all public schools and these are mostly present. Furthermore, a crucifix has been hanging in the plenary hall of the Sejm since it was hung on the night of October 19-20, 1997 by the national conservative MPs Tomasz Wójcik and Piotr Krutul . However, there is still no legal basis for this. There is also a Roman Catholic chapel in the parliament building.


In 1910, the monarchy fell in Portugal; the First Portuguese Republic (1910–1926) came into being.

With the “law of separation” (lei da separação) the separation of state and church was established. The law tried to bring the Catholic Church under the control of the state and thus led into conflict with the Vatican . On May 24, 1911, the Vatican condemned the new law in Portugal in the encyclical Iam dudum . Diplomatic relations with the Vatican were later broken off. The church question was to determine the whole policy of the early republic.

Russia or the Soviet Union

In Russia , after the October Revolution, there was a radical separation of church and state. The Council of People's Commissars under Lenin drafted a decree on February 5, 1918 on the separation of the Church from the state and the school from the Church . This separation was a one-sided separation of the church from its influence on the state and did not go hand in hand with a separation of the state from its influence on religions, i.e. the free practice of religion. Rather, there was an ideologically motivated intensive persecution of any religion up until the Second World War (→ Christian persecution # Soviet Union ). The Russian Orthodox state religion was replaced by the worldview of the stateMarxism-Leninism .

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990/91, the separation of state and religion or worldview has largely been implemented. The Christian-Orthodox character of Russia and the characteristic of a national church result in a high level of identification of the Russian state with the Russian Orthodox Church compared to Western European standards. A high level of identification can also be observed in other countries with an Orthodox character.


The Republic of Turkey has been formally secular and Kemalist since its foundation in October 1923 . The separation of state and religion is laid down in Article 2, and freedom of religion in Article 24 of the Constitution.

Since the Islamic-conservative AKP came to power in 2001, however, there has been an increased re-Islamization of society in Turkey.

In practice, there are close ties between the state and Sunni Islam , even long before the AKP government . The administration of the Sunni institutions is incumbent on a state religious authority affiliated to the office of the Turkish Prime Minister and thus subordinate to the current Prime Minister, the Praesidium for Religious Affairs , which is endowed with far-reaching powers the primacy of ruling politics.

Of the Christian denominations, only the Greek Orthodox Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church are recognized. The closure of the two theological seminaries, the Chalki and Surp Haç Ermeni Lisesi seminars, made by the state impossible to train Christian clergy in the country.

United States

In the US, the separation (of church and state is English of church and state separation ) to the Baptists back. Puritan religious refugees settled New England ; in their settlement areas they dominated state and church. Massachusetts, for example, refused to allow people of different faiths such as the Quakers to settle. England assigned them to a colony area further west, from which Pennsylvania arose.

The lawyer and clergyman Roger Williams (1603-1683) pleaded against state interference in the Church and vice versa in Boston . He turned away from old Puritanism and was one of the founders of Baptism . Williams founded Rhode Island in 1636 ; there, freedom of belief and thus freedom of settlement, regardless of the denomination of a settler, was consistently implemented from the start. All states of the later United States and many other states adopted this model . The concrete reason for the implementation of tolerance were the waves of immigration from Protestants from various churches as well as Catholics as a result of the impoverishmentlarge strata of the population in Europe (among other things due to population growth, bad harvests and political dissatisfaction, which erupted e.g. in 1848/49 ) and the advancement of industrialization and the structural change associated with it .

On one hand, in the US the strict separation of church and state in Article VI of the Constitution and the first is Amendment ( First Amendment ) committed. In addition, there is no religious education in state schools, no state financial support or tax collection for churches or religious private schools. Christmas is the only national holiday there with Christian origin. On the other hand, public life is characterized by a non-denominational, but Christian-oriented civil religion ; In God we trust has been written on the banknotes since 1955. Violent, highly politicized discussions and litigation over the limits of separation have been frequent in the American public. The fact that the Bush administration issued education vouchers at the expense of taxpayers for attending private (often church-based) schools and state-subsidized church-sponsored social programs (so-called “faith-based initiatives”) was recognized by parts of the public and by organizations such as American Civil Liberties Union heavily criticized.

See also


  • Axel von Campenhausen, Heinrich de Wall : State Church Law. A systematic presentation of the constitutional law of religion in Germany and Europe . 4th revised and expanded edition. CH Beck, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-406-51734-X in particular p. 338ff. (Short textbooks for legal studies) .
  • Ahmet Cavuldak: Common good and salvation. The legitimacy of the separation of religion and politics in a democracy. Transcript-Verlag, Bielefeld 2015, ISBN 978-3-8376-2965-1 .
  • Claus Dieter Classen : Religious Law . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2006, ISBN 3-16-149034-7 (Mohr textbook) .
  • Gerhard Czermak: Religious and ideological law. An introduction . Springer, Berlin a. a. 2007, ISBN 978-3-540-72048-5 (Springer textbook) .
  • Erwin Fischer : Goodbye Volkskirche! Separation of state and church. The endangering freedom of religion and belief in the Federal Republic of Germany . 4th completely revised edition. IBDK, Berlin a. a. 1993, ISBN 3-922601-17-0 .
  • Zaccaria Giacometti : Sources on the history of the separation of state and church. Scientia Verlag, Aalen 1974 (reprint of the Tübingen edition 1926).
  • Burkhard Kämper, Hans-Werner Thönnes (Hrsg.): The separation of state and church. Models and Reality in Europe . Essen discussions on the topic of state and church 40. Aschendorff, Münster 2007, ISBN 978-3-402-04371-4 .
  • Quirin Weber: Framework conditions for a peaceful coexistence of religions in Switzerland . In: Zeitschrift für Evangelisches Kirchenrecht 60 (2015), pp. 409–419 (Mohr Siebeck)
  • Volker Wick: The separation of state and church. Recent developments in France compared to the German cooperation model. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2007, ISBN 3-16-149342-7 ( Jus ecclesiasticum 81), (also: Bochum, Univ., Diss., 2006).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ulrich Stutz: The papal diplomacy under Leo XIII. after the memorabilia of Cardinal Domenico Ferrata , Berlin 1926, p. 54.
  2. Benedict divides the Bundestag
  3. Tanja Dückers : Religion must be private. - The separation of state and church is being weakened. Muslim religious communities are upgraded instead of thinking about whether the churches have too much power ; September 4, 2012. Quote: "Religion [has], regardless of denomination, almost always a non-negotiable intolerant core".
  4. Legal Policy. Humanistic Association of Germany - Federal Association, accessed on May 8, 2018 . Resolution on equal treatment of non-denominationalists. (PDF, 14 kB) Federal Main Committee of the Humanist Association of Germany, May 28, 2005, accessed on May 8, 2018 .
  5. Söder: Bavaria Cross adoption official. In: Handelsblatt . May 22, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2018 .
  6. Cross debate: majority of Bavarians approve of decision to cross. In: Bayernkurier . May 2, 2018, accessed May 8, 2018 .
  7. Most Germans reject crosses in authorities. In: time online. April 29, 2018. Retrieved April 29, 2018 .
  8. "The value system of the People's Party is rooted in a Christian-Occidental and humanistic tradition" and "the ÖVP sees itself as a Christian Democratic Party". The history of the ÖVP: principles and values. ( Memento from April 15, 2016 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on April 14, 2016;
    However, it was founded in 1945 in explicit delimitation from the primarily Catholic- Christian Social Party  (CS) of the pre-war period; see
    Lisa Nimmervoll: Searching for traces of an ÖVP legacy: The Christian social doctrine. Essay in: Der Standard online, November 8, 2014;
    Robert Prantner:No longer Christian - the ÖVP is following the zeitgeist., o. D. (accessed April 14, 2016).
  9. Degradation of Religious Teachings,  Section 188; Disruption of a religious practice  Section 189; here in the context also disturbance of the dead rest  § 190.
  10. Robert Zikmund: § 188 StGB - "Degradation of religious teachings.", January 9, 2015.
  11. See ; in particular, for example, all religious programs on ORF television. , ORF Stories .
  12. Swiss Federal Constitution, Art. 15
  13. Swiss Federal Constitution, Art. 72
  14. ^ Peter Gilg : Church and State 1. In: Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz . October 16, 2006 , accessed June 5, 2019 .
  15. ^ A b Peter Gilg : Church and State 2. In: Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz . October 16, 2006 , accessed June 5, 2019 .
  16. Marco Jorio : Exceptional Article. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland . July 20, 2008 , accessed June 5, 2019 .
  17. ^ Website of Switzerland. Confederation: referendum of March 2, 1980
  18. (accessed on: January 30, 2012 18:39)
  19. ^ Urban Fink: Swiss state church law - confusing diversity in the smallest of spaces. In: Swiss Church Newspaper. 169th Volume, No. 22-23, 2001, ISSN  1420-5041 . ( ).
  20. ↑ Popular initiative “Against the building of minarets”, preliminary results
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