Religion in politics covers various topics related to the effects of religion on politics. Religion has been claimed to be "the source of some of the most remarkable political mobilizations of our times".
Various political doctrines have been directly influenced or inspired by religions. Various strands of Political Islam exist, with most of them falling under 2 the umbrella term of Islamism. Graham Fuller has argued for a broader notion of Islamism as a form of identity politics, involving "support for [Muslim] identity, authenticity, broader regionalism, revivalism, [and] revitalization of the community." This may often take a socially conservative or reactionary from, as in wahhabism and salafism. Ideologies espousing Islamic modernism include Islamic socialism and Post-Islamism.
Beyond universalist ideologies, religions have also been involved in nationalist politics. Hindu nationalism exists in the Hindutva movement. Religious Zionism seeks to create a religious Jewish state. The Khalistan movement aims to create a homeland for Sikhs.
An extreme form of religious political action is religious terrorism. Islamic terrorism has been evident in the actions of the Islamic State, Boko Haram, Taliban and Al-Qaeda, all paraticioners of jihadism. Christian terrorism has been connected to anti-abortion violence and white supremacy, for example in the Christian Identity movement. Saffron terror describes terrorism connected to Hinduism. There has also been cases of Jewish religious terrorism, such as the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre, as well as of Sikh terrorism, such as the bombing of Air India Flight 182.
A theocracy is "government by divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided". Modern day recognised theocracies include the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Holy See, while the Taliban and Islamic State are insurgencies attempting to create such polities. Historical examples include the Islamic Caliphates and the Papal States.
A more modest form of religious state activity is having an official state religion. Unlike a theocracy, this maintains the superiority of the state over the religious authorities. Over 20% (a total of 43) of the countries in the world have a state religion, most of them (27) being Muslim countries. There are also 13 officially Buddhist countries such as Bhutan, while state churches are present in 27 countries.
In contrast to religious states, secular states recognise no religion. This is often called the principle of the separation of church and state. A more extreme version, Laïcité, is practiced in France, which prohibits all religious expressions in many public contexts.
There have been arguments for and against a role for religion in politics. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has argued that "faith and state should be kept separate" as "the most sinister and oppressive states in the world are those that use God to control the minds and actions of their populations", such as Iran and Saudi Arabia. To this, Dawn Foster has responded that when religion is fully unmoored from politics it becomes all the more insular and more open to abuse".