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Sacralism is the confluence of church and state wherein one is called upon to change the other. It also denotes a perspective that views church and state as tied together instead of separate entities so that people within a geographical and political region are considered members of the dominant ecclesiastical institution.[1]


Christian sacralism is, according to Verduin,[2] the hybrid product that resulted from the colossal change known as the Constantinian shift that began early in the fourth century AD, when Christianity was granted official tolerance in the Roman Empire by the Emperor Constantine, and was completed by the Emperor Theodosius's declaration in 392 outlawing paganism and making Christianity the official religion of the Empire. This resulted in the so-called age of Christian sacralism when Roman citizens who did not necessarily subscribe to the faith are coerced into it for fear of social discrimination and outright persecution.[3] This lasted until the Reformation when Christians gradually moved away from sacralism.

A Latin saying that has often been used to describe the principle of sacralism is cuius regio, eius religio, or "who has region, decides religion." The idea was that the ruler of each individual area would decide the religion of those under his control based upon his own faith.

A country where Islam is a dominant religion is also an example of sacralism.[1] Here, there is a general tendency to confuse religious dimension with other spheres like politics and the law and such confusion is viewed by Muslims as a compact and positive unity of all aspects of life.[4]

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