The term, free church refers to a Christian denomination that is intrinsically separated from government (as opposed to a theocracy, or an "established" or state church). The term is especially relevant in countries with established state churches.
The free church movement was a religious movement established to do away with the system of pew rents within the Christian church, wherein persons or families rented or bought the title to a particular church pew.[when?]
Today, a free church is typically a Christian denomination that is intrinsically separated from government (as opposed to a theocracy, or an "established" or state church). A free church does not define government policy, nor have governments define church policy or theology, nor seeks or receives government endorsement or funding for its general mission.
The Free Church is a pattern that evolved in the Americas, while much of Europe maintains some government involvement in religion and churches via taxation to support them and by appointing ministers and bishops etc., though free churches have been founded outside of the state system 
Protestant historians would typically argue that this is historically what the Christian church was before Emperor Constantine, and did not appear again until the Protestant Reformation in groups such as the Calvinists and some particular radical movements such as the Anabaptists.
A number of churches in Scotland and Northern Ireland, mainly of the presbyterian tradition, have used the name 'Free Church'. The most important of these to persist at the present time is the Free Church of Scotland.
Free Church movement
The free church movement was one created to do away with the system of pew rents, wherein persons or families rented or bought the title to a particular church pew. Families actually built the pews or modified them or rented the existing pews in the church. This was a funding mechanism for churches in situations before free will offerings became the norm. Abolishing pew rents dethroned those with money, power and influence, using free will offerings and tithes to fund churches led to the modern understanding of free church as one not under government or established authority, the shift in meaning has occurred over the last 100-150 years.
- Constantine I And Christianity
- Free Church Federation
- Separation of church and state
- Evangelical Lutheran Free Church (Germany)
- Independent Evangelical-Lutheran Church
- Church covenant
- ↑ http://anglicanhistory.org/misc/freechurch/ Project Canterbury: The Free Church Movement
- ↑ http://anglicanhistory.org/usa/jhhbrown/free1857.html What "Free Church" means and Why Churches should be Free. (1857)
- origins of the Free Church tradition within the Radical Reformation
- Where did Separation of Church and State originate?da:Frikirkelt:Laisvųjų krikščionių bažnyčia