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Liberté religieuse

Religious freedom is guaranteed by Austrian law. The sources of law were created over nearly two centuries on the basis of the Edict of Tolerance of 1781. One element that is absolutely essential to the individual is the constitutional guarantee of the freedom of creed and conscience in Article 14 of the Basic Law of the State of 1867.
Article 14 as well as the Interdenominational Law of 1868, guarantee the right of each individual living in Austria to freely choose their religious affiliation, to publicly put an end to their religious affiliation and to ultimately be free to not belong to any religious community. The fundamental right to religious freedom was defined and detailed by Article 63, paragraph 2 of the 1919 State Treaty of St. Germain and by article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights of 1950, both of which were made into constitutional laws.

The notion of religious freedom encompasses the freedom of belief (right to choose one’s beliefs), the freedom of worship (right to worship), freedom of profession (right to profess one’s faith outside of worship) and the freedom of conscience. Also, the European Charta of Human Rights has the status of a constitutional law and protects freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Article 10), and prohibits discrimination on religious grounds (Article 21).

Sources and further information :
 Vašek, Markus, “Religion als Rechtsbegriff“, in Andreas Kowatsch / Florian Pichler / Daniel Tibi / Harald Tripp (Hg.), 111 Begriffe des österreichischen Religionsrechts, Erlangen, 2022, pp. 268-271.
 Schima, Stefan, „Recht und Religionen“, in Karsten Lehmann / Wolfram Reiss (Hg.), Religiöse Vielfalt in Österreich, Baden-Baden, 2022, pp. 427-447.

D 31 août 2023    AAstrid Mattes ARobert Wurzrainer AWolfgang Wieshaider

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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