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are organizational bodies within a Christian denomination
A Christian denomination is an identifiable religious body under a common name, structure, and doctrine within Christianity. In the Orthodox tradition, Churches are divided often along ethnic and linguistic lines, into separate churches and traditions. Technically, divisions between one group and...
which are given official status or operated by a state
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...
State churches are not necessarily national church
National church is a concept of a Christian church associated with a specific ethnic group or nation state. The idea was notably discussed during the 19th century, during the emergence of modern nationalism....
es in the ethnic sense of the term, but the two concepts may overlap in the case of a nation state where the state boundary largely corresponds to the distribution of a single ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...
to which a certain denomination is attached as an aspect of ethnic identity. State churches, by contrast, may also be minority denominations which are given political recognition by the state.
In the People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...
, there are two branches of state-operated churches; the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association
The Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association , abbreviated CPA, CPCA, or CCPA, is an association of people, established in 1957 by the People's Republic of China's Religious Affairs Bureau to exercise state supervision over mainland China's Catholics...
and Three-Self Patriotic Movement
The Three-Self Patriotic Movement or TSPM is a state-controlled Protestant church in the People's Republic of China...
Pastors are trained at state-approved seminaries and are appointed by the government.
- Church of Denmark
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark, Church of Denmark or Danish National Church, is the state church and largest denomination in Denmark and Greenland...
- Church of the Faroe Islands
The Church of the Faroe Islands was a diocese of the Lutheran Church of Denmark until it became independent on 29 July 2007, as the smallest of the world's few remaining state churches....
(Lutheran), split from Church of Denmark
- Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...
- For historical reasons, the Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland, known informally by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is a Presbyterian church, decisively shaped by the Scottish Reformation....
, a Presbyterian body, is both established in law and free from state control. It thus regards itself as a "national" church rather than a state church.