Democracy vs. Theocracy

Main Difference

A government system can be of different type. It can be in form of democratic state, dictatorial state, monarchal state, presidential system or federal system, etc. But the ideology behind all kinds of system can be of two types, either democracy or theocracy. Most of the people are familiar with the word democracy but the few are familiar with the theocracy, which results in confusion between democracy and theocracy.


democracySimple definition of democracy is “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” This government system is based on four principles: 1) Government is selected and replaced by people through free and fair elections; 2) Citizens actively participate in the politics; 3) Protection of human rights of all citizens is ensured; 4) Rules and regulations are apply equally to all citizens. This is an old form of government system as the Greek Civilization or Athens was the first nation on earth who adopted this system in 5th century BC.


theocracyTheocracy is a form of government, which is based on the ideology of religion that God is the supreme power and government system is run according to the guidance of the God. Roman Empire was the first government on the earth who introduced the concept of theocracy and later on they moved to Constantine system. To some extent Caliph system of Islam also looks theocracy form of government, which is based on the supremacy of ALLAH Almighty. Before 18th century most of the European and American states were based on the ideology of religion and Jesus was considered as the supreme power in a government system. This government system is based on the ideology that “God himself is recognized as the head of the state.”

Key Differences

  • Democracy gives the rights to citizen to take part in the government electoral system while in theocracy only spiritual leaders are allowed to form the government and sometime technocrats can also take part in the government system.
  • Basic human rights regarding opinion, vote, protest , etc. is ensured by democracy while in theocracy citizens are bound to accept the decisions made by religious leaders.
  • Rules and regulations in democracy are mostly based on the opinions of the majority of public representatives while theocracy adopt the rules made by the God.
  • Democracy is the best way of establishing government because now a days due to sectarianism in each religion, it is impossible to decide which sectarian will run the government system.

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