The essays listed below deal almost exclusively with North American constitutional law, and international, federal, state/provincial laws, and local laws that are related to religion.
Separation of church and state is mandated by the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Although this phrase is not mentioned in the Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the 1st Amendment as requiring such separation.
A similar principle has evolved largely through popular custom in Canada.
The result of this separation, in our opinion, has been a vigorous religious life coupled with a relative lack of religious persecution. Many countries have traditionally had closer links between state and religion. This has led (and continues to lead) to serious persecution of minority religions in many areas of the world.
13th century U.S. law:
18th century U.S. laws:
20th / 21st century U.S. laws and bills:
* Bill only
Church-state separation issues:
Government makeup and policy:
Human rights issues, worldwide:
See also statements on religious freedom and tolerance, in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Last update: 2011-JUL-19
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