State religion - Middle Age Chrisitan Europe - Modern day Muslim nations.

Another thread where a person wants to convert from Islam to Catholic prompted this thought…

What thoughts comparisons, parallels, lessons, etc might we be able draw about our own Western history - ala “Christendom” of some centuries ago and the issues one sees in Eastern Muslim nations today - where Islam is the state religion and conversion is seen as apostasy and I suppose even considered treasonous…(not to well informed on this aspect)

I am aware that in conversation with our protestant brothers relating to issues surrounding the inquisitions, one of the arguments put forth is that it was not the Church which condemned people but the civil state - but then - in these civil states (Catholic) - being non-Catholic was a dangerous thing…Being that Catholicism was the State religion…

I do not mean to start a big debate over the merits of such arguments…but I find the idea of comparing these things interesting and wonder what other people might have thoughts on the matter…


Well it’s not really a valid comparison since the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is Truth and every other religion isn’t? And nobody report this comment cause I don’t deserve an infraction for speaking the Truth of Christ. That “is” the purpose of this forum correct? Or is it all politics?

Its worth mentioning that in Post-“Reformation” Europe there were a significant number of civil states were it was equally dangerous to be Catholic (England would be an obvious example but there are plenty of others). My own family on my father’s side was quite wealthy, owning a coal mine which was the main source of employment in a town outside of Prague. The town leaned quite heavily towards Protestantism and when my Protestant ancestor took a Catholic bride they were run out town…

Well in this particular case I am thinking more about the civil/social/historical aspects than the religious ones. That is why I put it in “Social Justice”

I’m just wondering…what the reaction would be from Christians - including Catholics - of a Muslim country putting on trial someone who converts from Islam to Christianity…
and when you discuss it with a friend who is Muslim they say, “Well it’s not the Church that is condemning them - it’s the civil government.”:shrug:


Amen - The discussion can certainly be applied to any country with a “State Church” where dissension was not tolerated very well…

I just watched part of a program on PBS about the history of England from the viewpoint of a couple of small towns northwest of London…It was interesting that in this episode they spoke about “religious dissenters” and their impact on the state. Of course these dissenters were dissenting from the protestant “State Church” of England…(Guess they figured they couldn’t call them “protestants”:D)


My thoughts:

No problem with a state religion if it’s Catholicism. :smiley: Since the state has a duty to recognize the Church. But that doesn’t mean the Church runs the state (kinda like Islam and Muslin countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa), and "The State may not impose religion, yet it must guarantee religious freedom and harmony between the followers of different religions. " Dues Caritas Est 28

Also this:

see explanation about 77-78.

The traditional teaching is that individuals and states have a duty to convert and profess the Catholic faith. Just as individuals have a duty to purge sin from their lives so also rulers have a duty to use political prudence to remove sin and wickedness from society. Locking up every masturbater may not be practical but the banning of pornography might be. That’s the idea, really.

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