Theocracy is a form of government in which God or a deity of some type is recognised as the supreme ruling authority, giving divine guidance to human intermediaries that manage the day to day affairs of the government who claim they are in power due to the divine will of their God or gods. Famous theocracies throughout history include the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire where Emperors were often declared gods.
Theocracies can be implemented in different waysShow moreShow less
Theocracies are described as the antithesis to democracy, but are they?
From Bhutan to Britain, there are many states in the world in which the clergy play a formal role in politics. In others, explicitly religious political ideologies are increasingly important but the country does not meet the purist definition of a theocracy.
Many states have an official state religions, such as many middle eastern countries having Islam as their state religion. Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand have Buddhism as their state religion and Malta and Leichenstein have Catholicism.
The British monarch is the titular Supreme Governor of the Church of England and is crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the 26 most senior bishops have seats in the House of Lords, although their actual political power is negligible.
Even countries that do not mention religion in their constitution, religion still can have an undue influence upon society structurally through tax exemptions and functionally through grants and privileges. For example, Australia and New Zealand have been called soft theocracies, where the church-state relationship in both countries is mostly about access to taxpayers' money.
[P1] Many countries are theocracies on some level, as religion are incorporated into the state on some level.