Freedom of religion and religious practice in Europe has also flourished in the states where there is a full separation between the 2---best example is that emancipation for jews in France has been in place since Napoleonic times---because of the separation between religion and the state--and long may such separation continue. Even here in UK where the Church of England is headed by the Queen and it is the "state religion" --it is the secular nature of the state leaving religion to private beliefs and practices that benefits society. The problem with clerics in political power is that they are generally not responsive nor responsible to an electorate. Israel is unique in having clerics with such overt political power but that is as much a problem derived from proportional representation in Israel as the secular political parties not being prepared to alter the status quo in a way which would lead Israel to be the secular state suggested by the author of the articile.
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Sudan summons U.S. envoy over Darfur sanctions draft resolution (Reuters)
from the article: Why Israel must become a secular state: a thought for Yom Kippur 5770