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The relationship of church and state—or, more broadly, religion and state—is crucial to educational theory and philosophy in light of the profound impact that religious freedom can have on the structure and content of education, including civic education, in a particular society.

There is no fixed or natural relation between religion and state. Globally, religion and state are related in diverse and complicated ways that produce widely divergent levels of religious freedom. States that establish (i.e., legally promote, protect, or favor) one or more religions may strictly punish deviance from the state religion (as in Saudi Arabia) or they may protect the religious freedom of all citizens (as in the United Kingdom). Some states without established religions nevertheless place tight restrictions on religious practices (as in ...

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