Legislation on religious associations as a factor in ensuring freedom of religion


  • Cole Durham




Legislation regulating the process of creating, recognizing and registering relevant legal entities is an important means of ensuring the existence of the majority of religious communities in the modern legal context. Most of the existing religious communities in different countries seek to register and be recognized, because only this gives them the opportunity to take advantage of this status in this way. The specific set of rights associated with this status varies depending on the legal system, as well as on the specific type of legal entity within each system. However, in the modern world, a group that does not have the status of a legal entity is at least extremely difficult to undertake simple legal actions, in particular, such as opening a bank account, renting or purchasing premises for worship or other religious activities, entering into contractual relations, the opportunity to speak in the court as a plaintiff or a defendant (that is, the protection of the organization’s rights by going to court and the right to be subject to a lawsuit), and so on. These problems are especially important for large organizations that need to build and maintain many buildings for liturgical purposes, develop a network of pastoral care and create charitable and educational services and in such a way that all these activities are consistent with their deep-seated religious beliefs.