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Jurisprudence

The Principle of Separation of Church and State

The Separation of Church and State prohibits the State (government) from establishing an official state religion and the use of public money to support such religion. The Separation of Church and State does not prohibit the Church from getting involved in politics as its members can freely exercise their rights and obligations as citizens of the country. 

WHAT IS THE PRINCIPLE OF SEPARATION OF CHUCH AND STATE?

The principle of separation of Church and State is based on mutual respect. Generally, the State cannot meddle in the internal affairs of the church, much less question its faith and dogmas or dictate upon it. It cannot favor one religion and discriminate against another. On the other hand,  the church cannot impose its beliefs and convictions on the State and the rest of the citizenry. It cannot demand that the nation follow its beliefs, even if it sincerely believes that they are good for the country. (Imbong vs. Ochoa,  G.R. No. 204819, April 8, 2014) 

WHAT IS THE BASIS?

The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable. (Sec. 6, Art. II, 1987 Constitution) No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights. (Sec. 5, Art. III, 1987 Constitution) 

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE?

The purpose of the religion clauses in the restriction it imposes on the power of the  government to interfere with the free exercise of religion and the limitation on the power of government to establish, aid, and support religion is the protection and promotion of religious liberty. (Estrada vs. Escritor, A.M. No. P-02- 1651, August 4, 2003) 

THE NON-ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE

The concept of the non-establishment clause prohibits the establishment of a state religion and the use of public resources for the support or prohibition of a religion. (Imbong v. Ochoa, G.R. No. 204819, April 8, 2014). Its minimal sense is that the State cannot establish or sponsor an official religion. (Re: Letter of Tony Valenciano, A.M. No. 10-4-19-SC, March 7, 2017) 

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