Democracy and Religion


Democracy can be defined as a form of government where all the citizens in the country has equal right to make decision that are attributed to electing their leaders. The citizens of such a region or country have equal participation in electing their leaders and any member of the country may vie for any seat if he or she wishes to be a leader. The citizens of such a country may participate directly or indirectly in electing their leaders who act as their representatives in the national building. The leaders help in creating the countries law as well as governing the region with development projects. The law that governs a country also takes into account the social, cultural and economic factors of a country. Democracy can also be defined as the government of the people by the people and it originates from a Greek word the ‘demokratia’. Democracy is different from other form of government in that power is held by democratically leaders where they exercise their power as given by the country’s laws which are followed by each and everyone in the region. The law is supreme and no one is above the law and it’s held to be the final judge if one of the citizens contravenes the rule of law. A democratic government is practiced in most part of the world where people are given the right to select the kind of leaders they want and the qualities they have. The leader selected by the majority vote is declared the leader and will rule for a given period of time. A democratic government is not always fair as some people when exercising their democratic right s may elect a leader who fails to gunner the majority vote and thus their vote does not count (Lansford, 56).




Religion can be defined as a collection of cultural systems and belief system that relate the people’s spirituality. Religion also incorporates the moral values of people who follow these guideline or doctrines. Religion also includes the culture belief, values, norms and social practice of people. Culture is a cultivation of the soul or mind of a person to fall a given set guideline. Cultural belief is a cultivation of a person mind to follow a unit given set of rules as set by a given group of people. It is the philosophy of a person to have a set of similar and accepted norms that are followed by his or her peers. Cultural values are the accepted ideas a particular group of people follow. The values are seen as the just, right and fair to all who follow the guidelines in a given society. Cultural values can also be defined as the commonly followed standards of acceptable or important in a given society or community. A cultural norm is a generally accepted behavior among people of a certain group. The norms are seen as behaviors that dictate the law of the society. Sociologists usually view norms as laws that govern a given group of people where each individual is required to follow the set norms. It’s a society expectation for each person to follow and adhere to the set cultural norms as they outline each day’s responsibility. Social practice is the art and design that involves activities that are unique to a given community setting and are geared towards the community interest. Social practice involves broad social networks and cultural practices where expert legal advice is required to define any social disagreement. Social practice involves evaluating the difference in social shared understanding through skills of a given individual among the community. Social practice tries to bring the social mind of each individual in the community to one understanding for better policy formulation in the society (Odell-Scott, 61). Religion is sometime used to mean the faith of people where people belief in a super being who they worship and pray to. Religion gives people the power to exercise their freedom of worship nut in some communities all the people are required to follow a certain set doctrine that constitute full membership without fail. In the world today we have more than 4200 established religions that govern the behavior of people and their morals. The different religions have holy places where they undertake their religion services and are led by a clergy or a leader anointed to protect their different holy scriptures. Religion has been a practice that has been followed since the beginning of the human race where the followers of a given religion exercise their freedom to worship a super being that differs from religion and most of them refer to the super being as a god or the most high. Religion can be termed to be universal as each try to expand beyond countries and borders as they seek acceptance from all human race. There exists different religion the world today and they include among many other Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and the Chinese folk religion (Kunin, 23).


Democracy and religion

Religion has over the years been used to influence the governance of different countries and more so the Africa continent and some part of the Middle East. The democracies of such countries have been attributed to the extent of following religious doctrine. When the European countries wanted to colonize them, they first came as missionary trying to spread the word of God to the primitive African who had no formal government system and they wanted to change these trend. They came as Christian missionaries before later subjecting them to their respective country rule of law. It was a move to harness the resource of these African countries. These led to the introduction of Christianity that differed with the traditional African religion and people had to follow the changed religion belief. The rights of Africans were infringed and most were led to suffer at the hand of these Europeans (Vries, 47).

Some of the religions in the world are related as most account their origin as descendant of Abraham and are thus referred to as Abrahamic religions. Abrahamic religions include Judaism, Christianity, the Baha’i Faith, Samaritanism, and finally Islam. For the course of this study we shall focus mostly on the religion of Islam and Christianity and the effect these two religions have on the democracy or rule of law in countries. Christianity can attribute its origin from Abraham who is viewed as the servant of God and follow a holy scripture called the Bible which has two Testaments, the old and the New Testament. Christianity is mostly based on the teaching and the life of Jesus Christ who is the son of God, the Father referred to as God and the Holy Spirit. The Christianity belief in the trinity of the son the father and the Holy Spirit, but here have been division over the year to form Catholic Church, the Eastern Christianity and the Protestant. The religion is widely spread in the world and thus it has a great effect on the governance of many countries. In some countries the doctrine does not allow their followers to exercise their democratic right as they dictate what kind of leader to elect in the next government (Tilly, 58).




Religious Democracy

Religious democracy can be defined as a form of leadership or government where the morals and values of the religion play a role in the way the government is run and operated. The religion has a role in influencing the rule of law in that country. The religion is able to influence the democracy of a country if most of the citizens in the country are members of the religion and thus the religion doctrine is give the first propose of the required values to be followed. This is seen as an abuse of the democracy in that the religion with fewer members cannot form the government as the minorities are not consulted in constituting the government. The leaders of the religion claim that democracy is not abused when the faith is not embraced. When we internalize the Islam religion we find out that most of its teaching is contained in the holy book they refer to as the Quran. The teaching guides the lives of its followers in their daily activities and they determine how leaders will be elected. Thus the religion has a lot of influence on the governance of most countries and religion where it is followed. The religion is part of the Abrahamic Religion and thus it’s widely followed in the Middle East and Northern Africa and some Asian countries. The religion has strict values and morals that each follower must adhered to and thus play a big role in influencing the behavior of individuals in a country. In some countries where sharia law is applied it forms the basis of governance of such countries and dictates the behavior of people. In countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia which are regarded as Islamic republics the Islam doctrine takes precedent and thus its role in the country governance is paramount. Some of its teaching discriminate against women empowerment and thus do not regard women as leaders in any way and thus they cannot elect women leaders and this is an abuse of democracy (Odell-Scott, 61). Democracy is geared towards giving the citizen the power to elect their leaders without outside influence and when this right is infringed by a religion then democracy cease to exist in such a society. Democracy is supposed to be a right of everyone to elect their leaders and when the right is abused by instigating religion in electing and guiding how leaders are elected then the power does not lie in the hands of people. It is seen to lie in the teaching of a given religion. Some religious teachings are not up to per with the rule of law which is regarded as the supreme law and the sovereignty of the country. Religious interpretation should not contravene the rule of law and the followers of such religion should be allowed to choose leaders of their choice who will steer the country to greater economic development and empowerment. Religion shouldn’t mixed with democracy as it derives away the right of people to elect leaders of their choice (Vries, 47).












Work cited

Kunin, Seth D. Religion: The Modern Theories. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press, 2003. Print.

Lansford, Tom. Democracy. New York, N.Y: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2007. Print.

Odell-Scott, David W. Democracy and Religion: Free Exercise and Diverse Visions. Kent [u.a.: Kent State Univ. Press, 2004. Print.

Tilly, Charles. Democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Print.

Vries, Hent . Religion: Beyond a Concept. New York: Fordham University Press, 2008. Print.


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