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A minister is a politician who holds significant public office in a national or regional government, making and implementing decisions on policies in conjunction with the other ministers. Some ministers are more senior than others, and are usually members of the government's cabinet. In some countries the head of government is designated the "prime minister". In some countries and territories, including Hong Kong, the Philippines, the UK, and the US, holders of some posts equivalent to ministries are called secretaries of state, sometimes referred to simply as secretaries. The term "minister" is also used in diplomacy with the quite different meaning of second-level diplomats. Another use, again quite distinct, is in religion, where some Christian denominations have a low-ranking office of "minister". This is distinct from a government minister with responsibility for religion, such as the Israeli Minister of Religious Services. (via Freebase)