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Jewish state

In world politics, Jewish state is a characterization of the nation state of Israel as a sovereign homeland of Jewish people. Modern Israel came into existence on 14 May 1948 as the homeland for the Jewish people. It was also defined in its declaration of independence as a "Jewish state," a term that appeared in the United Nations partition decision of 1947 as well. The related term "Jewish and democratic state" dates from 1992 legislation by the Israeli Knesset. Since its establishment, Israel has passed many laws which reflect on the Jewish identity and values of the majority about 75% in 2016 of its citizens. However, the secular versus religious debate in Israel in particular has focused debate on the Jewish nature of the state. Another aspect of the debate is the status of minorities in Israel, most notably the Israeli Arab population. In pre-modern times, the religious laws of Judaism defined a number of prerogatives for a Halachic state. However, when Theodor Herzl who in 1896 wrote Der Judenstaat The Jewish State giving birth to the modern Zionist movement, he envisioned a state based on European models, which included religious institutions under the aegis of the state. In order to avoid alienating the Ottoman Sultan, there was no explicit reference to a Jewish state by the Zionist Organisation that he founded. The phrase "national home" was intentionally used instead of "state." The 1942 Biltmore Program of the Zionist Organization explicitly proposed "that Palestine be established as a Jewish Commonwealth." In 1946, the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, also known as the Grady-Morrison Committee, noted that the demand for a Jewish State went beyond the obligations of either the Balfour Declaration or the Mandate, and had been expressly disowned by the Chairman of the Jewish Agency as recently as 1932. The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, which brought the British mandate to an end in 1948, referred to a "Jewish state" and an "Arab state." The term Jewish state has been in common usage in the media since the establishment of Israel, and the term was used interchangeably with Israel. George W. Bush used the term in his speeches and in an exchange of letters with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2004. Barack Obama has also used the phrase, for instance in a speech in September 2010 to the U.N. General Assembly. The Israeli government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made Palestinian recognition of Israel as a "Jewish state" a precondition in the peace negotiations, has the government of his successor Benjamin Netanyahu. However, Palestinians regard a "Jewish state" as a trap, a new demand that did not come up during years of negotiations in the 1990s or in peace treaties reached with Egypt and Jordan. The Palestine Liberation Organization recognized the State of Israel as part of the Oslo Accords in 1993. Palestinians regard acceptance of the demand as giving up the right of return.


Religious uniformity

Religious uniformity occurs when government is used to promote one state religion, denomination, or philosophy to the exclusion of all other religious beliefs.



Sacralism is the confluence of church and state wherein one is called upon to change the other. It also denotes a perspective that views church and state as tied together instead of separate entities so that people within a geographical and political region are considered members of the dominant ecclesiastical institution.


Secular state

A secular state is an idea pertaining to secularity, whereby a state is or purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. A secular state also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion, and claims to avoid preferential treatment for a citizen based on their religious beliefs, affiliation or lack of either over those with other profiles. Secular states do not have a state religion e.g. an established religion or an equivalent, although the absence of an established state religion does not necessarily imply that a state is fully secular or egalitarian in all respects. For example, that describe themselves as secular have religious references in their national anthems and flags, or laws which advantage one religion or another.


State atheism

State atheism is the incorporation of positive atheism or non-theism into political regimes. It may also refer to large-scale secularization attempts by governments. It is a form of religion-state relationship that is usually ideologically linked to irreligion and the promotion of irreligion to some extent. State atheism may refer to a governments promotion of anti-clericalism, which opposes religious institutional power and influence in all aspects of public and political life, including the involvement of religion in the everyday life of the citizen. In some instances, religious symbols and public practices that were once held by religion were replaced with secularized versions. State atheism can also exist in a politically neutral fashion, in which case it is considered as non-secular. The majority of Marxist–Leninist states followed similar policies from 1917 onwards. The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic 1917–1991 and more broadly the Soviet Union 1922–1991 had a long history of state atheism, whereby those seeking social success generally had to profess atheism and to stay away from houses of worship; this trend became especially militant during the middle of the Stalinist era which lasted from 1929 to 1939. In Central Europe, countries like Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Russia, and Ukraine experienced strong state atheism policies. East Germany and Czechoslovakia also had similar policies. The Soviet Union attempted to suppress public religious expression over wide areas of its influence, including places such as Central Asia. Either currently or in their past, China, North Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Cuba are or were officially atheist. In contrast, a secular state purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. In a review of 35 European states in 1980, 5 states were considered secular in the sense of religious neutrality, 9 considered atheistic, and 21 states considered religious.



Zuism or Sumerian-Mesopotamian Neopaganism define a modern Pagan new religious movement based on the Sumerian religion, and calls itself the "oldest religion, foundation of all major religions". Modern Sumerian-Mesopotamian religious groups already existed since the 1980s; however, the first institutional form of the movement was founded in Iceland in 2010, and in 2013 Zuism was registered among the religions recognised by the Icelandic government. After the mid-2010s, branches of the church were established in other countries of central and northern Europe. In late 2015 the Zuist Church of Iceland was taken over by a new leadership, under which the church was turned into a medium for a mass protest against the nationally mandated tax on religious membership; Icelanders began converting in large numbers as the new leadership promised that the tax received by the Zuist Church would have been used to refund the church members themselves. After a legal struggle, in 2017 the original directors of the church were restored to power. They decided to maintain the previous leaders principle of refunding church members, and also to devolve funds to social welfare institutions. Zuism has spread considerably in Iceland by attracting members among younger, internet-connected, less Christian generations of Icelanders.