Through the centuries, religion and state have been struggling for powers since both represent distinct centers of powers in the world. While state has political powers, the religion has divine powers, which makes it command billions of believers across the world. During the dark ages, there was union of Roman Empire and Christian religion that led to the persecution of many people.
The church usurped political powers and compelled people to comply with the Christian beliefs. Since the church had both political and divine powers, it issued decrees that demanded all people to comply with Christian beliefs and teachings or risk persecution for being heretics.
Then, there was no freedom of worship as it is today because religion exercised excess powers that enabled it to reward believers and punish heretics. Experience of the dark ages prompted the Congress to establish laws that ensured that there was a complete separation of religion and state. The first amendment to the United States constitution prohibits the congress from making laws that favor or restrict establishment of any religion.
Current political climate provides freedom of worship and exercise of diverse religious beliefs that are present in the world. Freedom of worship and exercise of any religion has been possible due to legislations like the first amendment that recognizes the distinction of state and religion.
The state plays a critical role in ensuring that every person has inalienable right to worship freely and exercise religion of choice without infringing into the rights of others. Moreover, since there are diverse religions in the world, it is impossible for the state to provide legislations that will cater for their unique beliefs, hence, the first amendment prohibits the congress from making any laws that favor or restrict establishment of any religion.
In spite of legislations that provide freedom of worship and separation of religion and state, the state is in a great danger due to the usurping influence of the religion. Critical analysis of the current political climate shows that there is impending union of state and religion as shown in Christian states and Islamic states.
The religion is growing tremendously in various states of the world, and has infiltrated into powerful levels of government in order to influence laws and policies that favor its establishment. Furthermore, major religions like Christian and Muslim command billions of people that make them have a say in political arenas. Politicians in the current world must identify with certain religions in order to gain more votes.
As a result, religious leaders have seized such opportunities to widen their political roots in a bid to usurp political powers. Therefore, religious leaders are gradually gaining political powers and recognition thereby threatening the freedom of worship and state-religion separation.
In order to avoid the union of state and religion, the state should enact more laws that emphasize the separation of state and religion. There should be distinction between political and religious responsibilities since religion is slowly usurping political responsibility by influencing legislations, policies and decision making in various levels of government.
Even though legislations restrict the government from making laws that favor or restrict exercise of any religion, religions have earned political goodwill that may influence future legislations or amendments.
Existence of blurred difference between religion and state in the modern world provides a platform where religions triumph in political and spiritual arenas. Thus, stringent legislations are the only sure way of preventing religions from usurping political powers and restricting freedom of worship.
State and Religion