eurel     Sociological and legal data on religions in Europe and beyond
You are here : Home » Germany » Law and religion » General overview » Separation and Public Nature of Religions

Separation and Public Nature of Religions

The State and religious communities are separate. The State is neutral with respect towards religions and ideologies. “There is no State Church” (article 140 GG and article 136 (1) WRV). The State is not permitted to identify itself with one religion or another, nor to refuse or persecute a religion based on its religious doctrine (Identifikationsverbot). Likewise, the State is not permitted to interfere with religious communities on an institutional level, except when provided for in the Constitution (Verflechtungsverbot).

Obviously the State is not prevented from considering the religious affiliation of its citizens, promoting their religions and providing them with a place in the public circle. In other words, the State and religious communities find themselves in a relationship of mutual recognition. This relationship is set out in numerous treaties between the State and different religious organisations, in which the partners determine the rules for the activities they are concerned with.

In this system of open separation between the State and Church, religion is recognised as a stakeholder in civil society and in the public sphere. The public nature of religions manifests itself through religious instruction in public schools, Faculties of Theology in universities, the status of corporation under public law, the integration of religious social action organisations into the facilities of the Welfare State (old people’s homes, hospitals, day-care facilities, etc.) or the participation of Churches, among other civil society organisations, in audiovisual counsels.

D 19 July 2012    AMichael Heinig

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

Follow us:
© 2002-2019 eurel - Contact