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Legal Status of Religious Communities

The establishment of religious communities and organizations, i.e. religious communities, is free. However, they need to be registered, when the community is established or terminates its activity, with the administrative authority competent for interior affairs where the community has its seat.

The Law explicitly prohibits abuse, for political purposes, of religious communities and their institutions, as well as of religious activities or religious feelings. It also prohibits prevention or obstruction of the practice of religious ceremonies and manifestation of religious feelings, under penalty of sanctions. It is also prohibited to force someone to enlist in a religious community or to participate in a religious ceremony.

Religious ceremonies may be performed in churches, temples, official premises, at cemeteries, and at private places, without authorization. Authorization from the competent authority is only required to perform religious ceremonies outside the mentioned premises. The Criminal Code includes the criminal offence of violation of freedom of worship and practice of religious ceremonies (Art. 161), as one of the criminal offences against individual and civil freedoms and rights.

See: Law on the Legal Status of Religious Communities (Official Gazette of SRMNE 9/77 and 26/77).
Source: Initial Report on the Implementation of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 2012, p. 38-39.

D 18 July 2016    ANikola B. Šaranović

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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