Influence of Religion on Political Decisions in the Public Sphere

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Influence of Religion on Political Decisions in the Public Sphere A religion can refer to a specific cultural system of beliefs, which establishes symbols that relate humanity to moral values and spirituality. Religions in most instances draw humanity to the worship and total reliance of a deity (Vries 46). Religions are designed under a set of traditions, symbols, narratives, and sacred histories which attempts to give life its meaning. Religion once viewed as an indoor deity-worship activity; has since moved to the open public sphere, where it airs out its demands and expects the states to abide by them. Many of the governments decisions are greatly influenced by religious groups who lobby and protest incase policies unfavorable…show more content…
The unique grip religion has on humanity places it at unrivalled position to influence major societal decisions. Furseth and Repstad have proposed five ways in which religion can influence decision making in the public sphere, that is; as an official state religion, as a civil religion, as a public religion, through religious nationalism, and through its political power (104). State religions are like Islam in the Arabic countries, Judaism in Israel, and Roman Catholicism in the Vatican City. Few countries have state religions due to the many denominations and the requirement of non favoritism by the different constitutions. Most of these countries with state religions are theocratic with the government being subordinate to the church or religion. The official religion of the state could be a creed that is officially endorsed by the government to be adhered to by its citizens, and accepted and followed as the state religion. Examples of state religions include Roman Catholicism in Brazil, Costa Rica, Vatican City, and Islam in most of the Arabic countries (Fox 45). In these countries no other public worship of an alien religion is allowed, and in most cases conversion to a different creed is illegal and punishable by law. In such countries the state makes its policies in line with the religion’s specifications. Civil religion is an inspirational universal religion of nations that suffice an entire society and is often practiced by the political leaders
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