Religious institutions and authoritarian states : Church-state relations in the Middle East
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The churches in the Middle East are generally perceived to be supportive of the authoritarian states in the region. The motivations for this strategy and its successes and limitations in the context of the authoritarian environment and the religious heritage of the region are explored. The article argues that the approaches pursued are determined by the structure of the community in relation to the majority and other Christian communities as well as by state policies towards the community. The overriding aim of church leaders of protecting their communities has led to a modern variation of the historical millet system, which provides them public status in exchange for their acquiescence in regime policies. This security guarantee, combined with wariness towards other potential political actors and the desire to protect their privileged position from communal challengers, has resulted in the hierarchies' preference for the authoritarian status quo rather than encouraging democracy promotion.
McCallum , F 2012 , ' Religious institutions and authoritarian states : Church-state relations in the Middle East ' Third World Quarterly , vol 33 , no. 1 , pp. 109-124 . DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2012.627238
Third World Quarterly
This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Third World Quarterly 33(1), 2012, copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/01436597.2012.627238
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