A state religion (also called an established religion, state church, established church, or official religion) is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state. A state with an official religion, while not secular, is not necessarily a theocracy – a country whose rulers have in their hands both secular and spiritual authority.Official religions have been known throughout human history in almost all types of cultures. They were adopted by most ancient states, both monoethnic and polyethnic, and observing them was a requirement made to all citizens, and especially public officials.Official religions justified and reinforced the type of government existing in a society. Sanctifying it as the most, or the only, correct (divine) one, they often put forward and/or supported ideas of its expansion to other lands, whether the latter already follow the same religion or, sometimes. not.As the term church is typically applied to a Christian place of worship and organizations incorporating such ones, the term state church is associated with Christianity, historically the state church of the Roman Empire in the last centuries of the Empire's existence, and is sometimes used to denote a specific modern national branch of Christianity. Closely related to state churches are what sociologists call ecclesiae, though the two are slightly different.State religions are official or government-sanctioned establishments of a religion, but neither does the state need be under the control of the church (as in a theocracy), nor is the state-sanctioned church necessarily under the control of the state.The institution of state-sponsored religious cults is ancient, reaching into the Ancient Near East and prehistory. The relation of religious cult and the state was discussed by Varro, under the term of theologia civilis (""civic theology""). The first state-sponsored Christian church was the Armenian Apostolic Church, established in 301 AD.In the Near East and Middle East, many states with mostly Islamic population have Islam as their state religion in its Shiite or Sunnite variety, though the degree of religious restrictions on the citizen's everyday life varies. On the one hand, rulers of Saudi Arabia join secular and religious power in their hands, and Iran's secular presidents since the revolution of 1979 are supposed to follow decisions of religious authorities. Turkey, which also has mostly Muslim population, after its 1920ies revolution became a secular country, though unlike Russian revolution of the same decade, it did not made the country atheistic.The degree of strictness of official religions in modern world may vary considerably. Thus, while the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is still officially the head of the state church (in England only, because Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are legally disestablished Anglican provinces and appoint their own bishops), everyday life of ordinary British citizens is not in total strict religious subordination and dependence on the state church, while in typical theocratical states it usually is. Israel is the only modern state officially embracing Judaism as its official religion, yet it has a republican form of government.