Republishing (with some polishing) a comment to a question someone posted on FB:
I would definitely say there is a strong corelation between the scientific method and people's empowerment.
Is there a correlation between religion being divine and theocracies being oppressive regimes?
A religious tendency to trust and depend on in a higher authority for answers to the puzzling questions of life (often with unquestionable faith getting diverted to religious institutions that are made of fallible and corruptible men and not Gods)...
...translates into implicit trust without expectation of accountability in the governing authority who claim to know what's best for everyone. Take the cyclical and often disastrous assumption that whatever the ruling authority has done in any case is assumed to be good only because they are the ruling authority and we assume that they will only do what is best for their people. The dangerous part in this assumption is that the facts on the ground and data are completely ignored and we're simply floating on assumptions.
This is why scientific thinking and advancement ,which takes away the power of religious institutions by finding the answers to those puzzling questions through repeatable experimentation and proof and finding solutions to them as well, empowering the common man in the process, (example: using internet any human can now reach out his thoughts to millions of people at zero expense or communicate with anyone in the world with a tiny object in his hand : feats that would be considered as divine 100 years ago) ...
...has often also ended up diluting the powers of oppressive regimes (like what the Internet and mobiles did to Egypt and Tunisia).