Thursday, October 17, 2013

Religion Provisions of the Constitution of Serbia

One of my current research projects involves analysis of the religion provisions of various constitutions enacted since the year 2000. From time to time on this blog, I'll post extracts of those provisions arranged according to categories such as "Religious Freedom" (guarantee of individual rights), "Established Religion" (joining religion and government), "Establishment Clause" (separating religion and government), "Ceremonial Deism" (symbolic references to religion that have little or no legal effect), "Equal Protection of Religion" (non-discrimination guarantees), "Preamble", "Religious Education", and "Religious Limitations."
The Constitution of Serbia has a strongly worded provision on the separation of church and state.  It's equal protection provision is quite standard, and it's religious freedom provision includes what is becoming standard: a proviso that the right doesn't apply if infringement is necessary to achieve other legitimate state values.
Constitution of Serbia

Establishment Clause

Article 11
The Republic of Serbia is a secular state.
Churches and religious communities shall be separated from the
state. No religion may be established as state or mandatory religion.

Article 44  Churches and religious communities are equal and separated from the

Equal Protection of Religion

Article 21  All direct or indirect discrimination based on any grounds, particularly
on race, sex, national origin, social origin, birth, religion, political or other opinion,
property status, culture, language, age, mental or physical disability shall be

Religious Freedom

Article 43
Freedom of thought, conscience, beliefs and religion shall be guaranteed,
as well as the right to stand by one’s belief or religion or change them by choice.

No person shall have the obligation to declare his religious or other beliefs.
Everyone shall have the freedom to manifest their religion or religious
beliefs in worship, observance, practice and teaching, individually or in community with
others, and to manifest religious beliefs in private or public.
Freedom of manifesting religion or beliefs may be restricted by law only if
that is necessary in a democratic society to protect lives and health of people, morals of
democratic society, freedoms and rights guaranteed by the Constitution, public safety and
order, or to prevent inciting of religious, national, and racial hatred.
Parents and legal guardians shall have the right to ensure religious
and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.

Article 44  Churches and religious communities shall be equal and free to organize
independently their internal structure, religious matters, to perform religious rites in public,
to establish and manage religious schools, social and charity institutions, in accordance
with the law.
Constitutional Court may ban a religious community only if its activities
infringe the right to life, right to mental and physical health, the rights of child, right to
personal and family integrity, public safety and order, or if it incites religious, national or

racial intolerance.

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