How secular and religiously free are Europe’s “secular” states?


  • Jonathan Fox



Religious freedom, secularism, Europe, discrimination, separation of religion and state


This study uses data from the Religion and State (RAS) project to examine the extent to which 43 European states are, in fact, secular and religiously free. I find that these European states engage in substantial levels of support for religion, regulation, restriction, and control (RRC) of the majority religion, and government-based discrimination (GRD) against religious minorities. This is true of both countries in Europe with official religions and those which declare separation of religion and state (SRAS) in their constitutions. This demonstrates a distinctly European pattern of state-religion relations that is influenced in no small part by anti-religious forms of secularism.

Author Biography

Jonathan Fox

Jonathan Fox is the Yehuda Avner Professor of Religion and Politics at Department of Political Studies, Bar Ilan University. He specializes in the influence of religion on politics, using both quantitative and qualitative methodology to analyze the impact of religion on domestic conflict, international relations.