Top Theocratic Countries in the World Today

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Religion throughout the world still plays a very significant role in society and when it comes to the cultural values of many countries. Theocratic countries might not be a term that we hear about every day, but still, they represent a strong presence in the world even today.

For those who are not aware of what theocratic countries mean, the definition is simple to grasp. Theocratic countries are those countries where religious leaders or institutions hold powerful influence or control over the government and the legal system. Theocratic countries often implement policies and laws that are based on religious doctrines.

Let’s check out some of the most theocratic countries in the world today:

Saudi Arabia:

The legal system of Saudi Arabia is based on Islamic Sharia law, while the country is governed by an absolute monarchy, as the king holds the title of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, meaning the mosques in Medina and Mecca. The religious establishment in Saudi Arabia mainly adheres to the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam, and it plays a major role when it comes to shaping both government policies and societal norms.


Iran is probably the most well-known theocratic country on the planet, as it is governed by a system based on the principles of Shia Islam under the rule of a Supreme Leader. That Supreme LEader, exactly as its name suggests, is the highest-ranking political and religious authority in the entire country. The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran enshrines the principles of Shia Islam as the basis of governance and law.


The legal system of Yemen is based on Islamic law, and the societal and political landscape of the country is seriously influenced by tribal and religious leaders. Yemen doesn’t have a single religious authority in the same way as the Vatican or Iran, but religious figures wield considerable influence over social norms and government policies.

The Vatican City:

Vatican City is the spiritual and administrative center of the Roman Catholic Church, and it operates as a theocratic monarchy with the Pope as the head of the state. The Pope has been elected by the College of Cardinals, and he holds supreme authority over the doctrines and teachings of the Catholic Church. The legal system of the Vatican City is seriously influenced by the Catholic Canon Law.


While Afghanistan has been through some shifts in governance over the years, it’s also true that various forms of Islamic law have always played a central role in its legal system. The Taliban is an Islamist militant group, and it has held a strong influence in Afghanistan at various times. During their rule, they have imposed a strict interpretation of the Islamic law, leading to Afghanistan effectively being a theocratic state.

If we take a look back in history, we can easily realize that many ancient civilizations practiced various forms of theocracy, where religious leaders held serious power or even ruled directly. As examples, we can mention Ancient Greece and Rome, Ancient Egypt, and Ancient Mesopotamia.



Tommy’s hobby has always been playing video games. He enjoys competing in video games tournaments and writing about his experience. It’s not a big surprise that he mostly covers the latest trends from the gaming industry.