This article argues that the relationship between democracy and the separation of religion and state needs to be reexamined. We argue that previous studies have misconceptualized the impact that a lack of church-state separation can have on democracy, or have taken a narrow focus by concentrating on specific cases. We use principal component analysis and a large-n data set covering 125 countries to show that the separation of religion and state should be conceptualized multi-dimensionally and that it should be considered a component of democracy. Our findings show that as separation of religion and state increases, the level of democracy also increases.
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