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Accueil > Monténégro > Droit et religion > Présentation générale > Les relations Etat-religions

Les relations Etat-religions

While guaranteeing the freedom of association in Article 53 (the freedom of political, trade union and other association and action, without approval, by the registration with the competent authority, shall be guaranteed. No one shall be forced to become a member of an association. The state supports political and other associations, when there is a public interest to do so), the Constitution deals with collective aspect of the freedom of religion, i.e. with the status of churches and religious associations in the legal order of Montenegro, in the Article 14 “Separation of the religious communities from the State“, which reads as follows : „Religious communities shall be separated from the state. Religious communities shall be equal and free in the exercise of religious rites and religious affairs. ”
Although, in the former Constitution from 1992, it was additionaly stated that “the State shall offer material assistance to religious communities”, the fact that such paragraph does not exist in the current Constitution, does not mean that there is no constitutional basis for this kind of cooperation. In fact, it is contained in the article related to the freedom of association : “The state supports political and other associations, when there is a public interest to do so. ”
Although the principle of separation is enshrined in the Constitution, Montenegro does not belong to the model of strict separation. This can be seen at the sub-constitutional level, where the system of cooperative separation appears in various ways, and primarily through several agreements concluded in the past five years : Fundamental Agreement between Montenegro and the Holy See, June 24, 2011 ; Agreement governing the relations of mutual interest between the Government Montenegro and the Islamic community in Montenegro, January 30, 2012 ; Agreement governing the relations of mutual interest between the Government of Montenegro and the Jewish community in Montenegro, January 31, 2012. Although the vast majority of the population of Montenegro belongs to Orthodox religion, such an agreement hasn’t (yet) been signed with the Orthodox church.

State funding of religion
The State provides financial support to religious communities through co-funding of the contributions for pension, social and health insurance of priests. It also invests in the protection and maintenance of sacred objects and places, in particular those that have the status of cultural monuments. The State provides financial support to religious events and cultural activities of religious communities. Religious communities manage their own property and may raise charity funds for religious purposes, which they manage themselves.
In accordance with Article 14 of the Constitution of Montenegro, Article 23 of the Law on the Legal Status of Religious Communities, and Article 41 of the Law on State Administration, the criteria for awarding financial assistance to religious communities have been adopted on 27 May 2013 (amended on 19 February 2015).

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.

18 juillet 2016