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Establishment 2.jpg


Middle English establissen, from Anglo-French establiss-, stem of establir, from Latin stabilire, from stabilis stable


  • 1 : to institute (as a law) permanently by enactment or agreement
  • 2 obsolete : settle 7
  • 3 a : to make firm or stable
b : to introduce and cause to grow and multiply <establish grass on pasturelands>
  • 4 a : to bring into existence : found <established a republic>
b : bring about, effect <established friendly relations>
  • 5 a : to put on a firm basis : set up <establish his son in business>
b : to put into a favorable position
c : to gain full recognition or acceptance of <the role established her as a star>
  • 6 : to make (a church) a national or state institution
  • 7 : to put beyond doubt : prove <established my innocence>


A state religion (also called an official religion, established church or state church) is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state. Practically, a state without a state religion is called a secular state. The term state church is associated with Christianity, and is sometimes used to denote a specific national branch of Christianity. Closely related to state churches are what sociologists call ecclesiae, though the two are slightly different. State religions are examples of the official or government-sanctioned establishment of religion, as distinct from theocracy. It is also possible for a national church to become established without being under state control. The first national church was the Armenian Orthodox Church which was established in 301 A.D.