The importance of civil society that dates back 18th century is becoming more important in modern societies day by day. Going through various stages, the concept of civil society has now become the most important component of the direct democracy and public administration in the western world. With the transition to the industrial society, in order to perform their social functions, religious institutions in the western world were reformed and organized in the form of nongovernmental organizations parallel to the changes that their status underwent. On the basis of civil society, religious institutions created in various forms in western societies have developed positive relations with public, state and other non-governmental organizations. With the momentum the negatiations of enterance to European Union brought out in Turkey, the fact of civil society has gained great importance as a social actor hinting its efficiency and severity. During the transition from a representative democracy to a participatory democracy which dates back more than half a century in Turkey, non-governmental organizations as parts of civil society are expected to play key roles. This process eventually brings out some issues on agenda such as relations between religious organizations and the state as well as relations between the Religious Affairs Directorate, a governmental religious organization of Turkey, and civil society. This article attempts to make a comparison between civil society and religion with perspectives of both Turkey and Western World.