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Religious confessional communities registered by the State

State law on religion developed remarkably in 1998 as a result of the Confessional Communities Act. This law ensures a more simplified way of acquiring legal personality status (special) for confessional communities. Confessional communities possessing legal personality status according to this law are entitled to be called “confessional communities recognised by the State”. After 20 years of existence – including at least ten years with a legal status and at least five years as registered confessional community – legal recognition can be granted, provided all the required conditions are met.
Although religious confessional communities registered by the State do not benefit from the above-mentioned special accommodations for religious societies, it should be underlined in this context that in Austria everyone is entitled to exercise their freedom of belief and conscience, regardless of whether a religious community is legally recognised or whether it has the status of a registered religious confessional community. All religious communities in Austria are specially protected. The denigration of religious doctrines and the disruption of religious worship are factors that constitute an offence. Places of worship as well as objects used in worship are also extremely protected under criminal law when it comes to theft and property damage.

(Source : Federal Press Service and the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Religions Office).

D 1 December 2014    AWolfgang Wieshaider

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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