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In Theocracy, a form of government, the institutions and people that govern the state are very close to the leaders of the main religion. If the religious leaders do not directly run some bodies of the state, they influence them very much. The word theocracy comes from two Greek words literally meaning God-government, and meaning the government is run by "The Church".

Modern-day states that resemble Theocracies[change | change source]

Andorra[change | change source]

The Roman Catholic bishop of Urgell is one of the princes of the country. His role is mostly ceremonial.

Iran[change | change source]

Iran is a theocratic republic. In Iran, two bodies, the Supreme Leader and Guardian Council consist of members who are not elected by the people. These two bodies are staffed by Shia clerics. The highest elected official is the President of Iran.

Mohammad Khatami, the former president, said that this model is an alternative to democracy, as it brings in religious elements. He called it a religious democracy.

Israel[change | change source]

Some people see traits of theocracy in Israel. This is because rabbinical law and civil law must be mixed for certain aspects. Also, the state hires rabbis. These rabbis also have civil duties, not only religious ones.

Vatican City[change | change source]

The Vatican City is a true theocracy, with no separation between church and state. The head of the Catholic Church is the leader for life unless they resign, and is elected by the Papal Conclave. The Conclave itself is populated with Cardinals, whose roles are confirmed by the Holy See. Only those in the priesthood are allowed to become cardinals, and are consecrated as bishop when the role is bestowed upon them.[1]

References[change | change source]