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Financement des communautés religieuses

The following articles of law refer to the financing of religious communities :

III Rights and responsibilities of religious communities and their believers

Article 35
A religious community shall ensure resources for the performance of its activity from the revenues based on its own property and religious services, endowments, legacies, funds, donations and other contributions from physical and legal persons, resources from the international religious organizations that it is a member of, resources from the Budget of Montenegro and local self-government units as well as from other affairs and activities on a non-profit basis, in line with the law.
A religious community may have the funds approved from the state budget and the local self-government budget for the activities promoting spiritual, cultural and state tradition of Montenegro, as well as for the support to social, health-related, charitable and humanitarian activities of a particular interest.
A religious community shall keep a record of the revenues referred to in Paragraph 1 of this Article, in line with the law and autonomous regulations.

Article 36
A control of the legality of earmarked use of resources of the religious community from the state budget and the local self-government budget shall be performed by the competent authorities, in line with the law.

Article 37
The property of the religious community shall be used for the exercise of religious ceremonies and religious affairs, the construction and maintenance of religious buildings, as well as for other social, health-related, cultural, charitable, educational purposes, in line with the law and autonomous regulations of the religious community.
A religious community shall be held liable for its obligations toward its overall property, in line with the law.
Disputes that may arise from property relations between religious communities, on the one hand, and the state, local self-government, as well as physical and legal persons, on the other hand, will be resolved before regular courts of general jurisdiction in accordance with the rules of civil procedure.

Article 39
A religious community may collect voluntary contributions based on its autonomous regulations, in line with the law.

Article 40
A religious community shall pay taxes, contributions and other duties, in line with the law.
A religious community may be fully or partially exempt from tax and other obligations, in line with the law.
Physical and legal persons who give contributions to the religious community may be exempt from relevant fiscal obligations, in line with the law introducing the relevant public revenue.

Article 41
Religious servants shall have the right to health and pension and disability insurance, in line with the law.
A religious community may establish institutions for social, that is, health and pension and disability insurance of the religious servants, in line with the law.
Religious communities shall register religious servants who exercise the rights referred to in Paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article, in line with the regulations defining payment of contributions.
A religious community referred to in Paragraph 3 of this Article may also have funds secured in the state budget for health and pension and disability insurance of the religious servants, in line with the law.
If the funds for the purpose referred to in Paragraph 4 of this Article are secured in the state budget, the Government shall define the amount of funds, whereas the religious communities with a small number of believers may be subject to the principle of affirmative action.

Source : The Law on Freedom of Religion or Beliefs and Legal Status of Religious Communities of Montenegro.

D 20 octobre 2022    ANikola B. Šaranović

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