THE CONTINUED EFFECT of theocracies during the 20th century until today can be illustrated by the experiences of Russia, Spain, and Iran. In Russia, until the Russian Revolution, although the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church was the spiritual ruler of the congregation, Tzar Nicholas was considered to be the leader of the church on earth, its temporal authority. This had always been the theological foundation for the Russian monarchy since the time of the fall of the Byzantine Empire to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. The theory behind this was that Russia was “the Third Rome.”

Following the fall of Rome in 476 and then of the Byzantine capital of Constantinople in 1453, Russia (then Muscovy) was the inheritor of the spiritual and temporal power ...

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