Saturday, January 31, 2015

Luxembourg Revises Support of Religious Communities

Article 106 of the Luxembourg Constitution provides:
The salaries and pensions of ministers of religion shall be borne by the State and regulated by the law
Earlier this week, the government of Luxembourg signed an agreement with the country's faith groups to reallocate and modify the current government funding of religious communities. For the first time funding will be extended to the Muslim community, while funding to the Catholic Church will be severely cut. Over 70% of Luxembourg's population is Catholic. As reported by Law & Religion UK:
The stipends of all those within the faith groups who are currently paid by the state will continue; but those appointed in future will have to be supported by their respective religious communities. There will continue to be some Government subsidy for salaries of those engaged in counselling. The state subsidies currently received by the Roman Catholic Church will be severely reduced; and the agreement also foresees that the Roman Catholic seminary in Weimershof will become an interfaith learning centre, while the Church’s properties will be put into what Luxemburger Wort describes as a “public fund” – presumably something along the lines of a separate charitable trust. In addition, Roman Catholic confessional education in schools is set to be replaced with an ethics and morals course, including units on world religions.
Also the various political parties have agreed that the Constitution should be amended to provide a declaration of separation of church and state.