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The Islamic ChallengePolitics and Religion in Western Europe$
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Jytte Klausen

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199231980

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231980.001.0001

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Christian and Muslim Europe

Christian and Muslim Europe

(p.136) 5 Christian and Muslim Europe
The Islamic Challenge

Jytte Klausen

Oxford University Press

In Europe, church and state are still intertwined in ways that secular Christians hardly notice but nonetheless penalise religious minorities. National policies are bewilderingly inconsistent and the continued importance of legal privileges for Christians is most evident in those European countries that have established churches, as churches are commonly recognised by law as the official church of a state or nation and thus given civil authority. Overall, Europeans have followed two different models for organising church—state relations: religious monopolies and state-sponsorship of particular recognised national religions. Religious pluralism is a new social fact with which European states have yet to come to terms and, country by country, they are plunging into national debates about religion and public policy and how to accommodate growing numbers of nonconformist believers.

Keywords:   institutional barriers, Europe, Islam, Muslims, Christians, churches, religious monopolies, Religious pluralism

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