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Church & State

International human rights treaties provide for freedom of ‘religion and belief’’. The UN has stated that the right to ‘have or adopt a religion or belief’) ‘is far-reaching and profound; it encompasses freedom of thought on all matters, personal life stance and the commitment to religion or belief…’ It ‘protects theistic, non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, as well as the right not to profess any religion or belief’ and is ‘not limited in its application to traditional religions or to religions and convictions with institutional characteristics or practices analogous to those of traditional religions’.

The well-used term 'church and state' thus for us applies not only to the relationship between the state and religion, but also the state and all non-religious life stances.

See also entries for Petition re separation of 'church and state' in 'Documents' section.

CHURCH & STATE IN FORMER BRITISH COLONIES OF NZ, AUSTRALIA, CANADA & FIJI

Although no longer colonies of the British Government, these countries are still part of the British government, with the British monarch (supreme governor of the Church of England) as head of state, and with constitutional arrangements defined by their colonial status. Thus, the very idea of separation is defined out of existence.


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