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  • 18 October 2007 : Recognition of the “notorio arraigo”

The Comisión de Libertad Religiosa assented to attribute to Jehovah’s witnesses and the Federation of Buddhist communities the “notorio arraigo” title (well known deeply-rooted beliefs). For the first ones, the decision was taken on June 29, 2006 but was officially communicated to them on January 16, 2007. For the second one, it was taken on October 18, 2007.
This Commission’s approval constitutes both a symbolic recognition of these communities and a first step towards the possibility of establishing cooperation agreements with the Spanish State. It also allows them to benefit from a favourable tax situation.

For more information: read an article on Webislam concerning Buddhists.

  • 11 October 2007 : The Church of Scientology has the right to be registered

In a October 11, 2007 ruling, the Audiencia Nacional Española (national court with competent jurisdiction in criminal, social and administrative matters) recognized the right of the Church of Scientology to be included in the religious entities register of the Ministry of Justice (Registro de Entidades Religiosas del Ministerio de Justicia).
The ruling based on the appeal lodged by the Church of Scientology, considers as "null" and "against the law" a resolution taken by the Ministry of Justice on February 11, 2005 (and confirmed by another resolution taken on May 17, 2007), which denied the Church of Scientology the right to register.
The Church of Scientology registered on December 19, 2007.

For more information: read the decision on the OLIR website.

  • 13 September 2007 : Conditions concerning the Pastors’ registration to the Social Security system

On September 13, 2007 the royal decree 1138/2007 dating from August 30, 2007 was published in the Boletín oficial del Estado. This new decree modifies the royal decree 369/199 dating from March 5, 1999 dealing with the conditions of registration to the Social Security general system for ministers of religion belonging to the churches of the Federation of evangelical religious entities of Spain (Federación de Entidades Religiosas Evangélicas de España). The new decree takes into account the personal and family conditions of most of them, be they married or fathers. It is not the case for ministers of other denominations.

For more information: read the decree.

  • September 2007 : The wearing of the hijab in state schools

With the first school day, new debates concerning the wearing of the hijab appear. As two girls were wearing it, they were not admitted to a junior high school located in Ceurta. Nevertheless, the provincial direction of the Ministry of Education and Science insistently demanded the high school to allow the two girls back and justified its decision by claiming that they had the right to be educated. A similar case took place in Girona (Cataluña) where an eight year-old schoolgirl has been expelled because she wore the hijab. The Catalan conseller (minister) of education forced the school to reintegrate the girl.
With those two events, the debate concerning the wearing of the hijab in schools and the authorities in charge of this issue starts over again. The Minister of education, Mercedes Cabrera, affirmed that the government does not intend to create a new law. The conflicts are managed case by case.

For more information: read the news concerning the Girona case.

D 26 October 2007    AFernando Bravo López

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