Religion

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homekeyboard_arrow_rightMonaco

Legal framework on freedom of religion and actual application

The constitution of the principality establishes Roman Catholicism as the religion of the state.[1] It states that all Monegasques – citizens of Monaco – are equal in the eyes of the law, and that there are no individual privileges among them.[2]

Article 23 guarantees to all individuals, including non-citizens, “freedom of religion and of public worship, and freedom to express one’s opinions in all matters, [. . .] subject to the right to prosecute any offences committed in the exercise of the said freedoms”. No one may be compelled “to participate in the activities and ceremonies of a religion or to observe its days of rest”.[3]

There have been no reports of significant institutional changes. Although Roman Catholicism is the state religion, the government recognises all Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. There are several Catholic churches, two Protestant churches, one Greek Orthodox church, and one synagogue. There are no mosques but, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, some Muslim residents use private prayer rooms in their homes for worship.[4]

Incidents

No notable incidents relating to religious freedom have been reported since 2016. However, on 9th June 2017, an agitated individual demanding answers to questions about the Vatican, assaulted a priest called Father Jean-Christophe Genson in the sacristy of the Church of Sainte-Dévote. The attacker was subsequently brought to the psychiatric unit of a hospital.[5] There were no other incidents against Christians or members of minority religions during the period under review.

Prospects for freedom of religion

In the absence of reports involving religious minorities and no sign of any problems relating to religious freedom, significant changes are not foreseen in the near future.

Endnotes / Sources

[1] ‘Article 9’, Monaco’s Constitution of 1962 with Amendments through 2002, projectconstitute,org, https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/Monaco_2002.pdf?lang=en, (accessed 1 February 2018)

[2] ‘Article 17’, constituteproject.org, op. cit.

[3] ‘Article 23’, ibid.

[4] Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, ‘Monaco’, International Religious Freedom Report for 2016, U.S. State Department, https://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/religiousfreedom/index.htm#wrapper, (accessed 1st February 2018).

[5] S. Noachovitch, ‘Un homme hospitalisé en psychiatrie après avoir giflé un prêtre’, Monaco Hebdo, 21st June 2017, http://www.monacohebdo.mc/21502-homme-hospitalise-psychiatrie-apres-gifle-pretre, (accessed  1st February 2018)

About us

Founded in 1947 as a Catholic aid organization for war refugees and recognized as a papal foundation since 2011, ACN is dedicated to the service of Christians around the world, through information, prayer and action, wherever they are persecuted or oppressed or suffering material need. ACN supports every year an average of 6000 projects in close to 150 countries, thanks to private donations, as the foundation receives no public funding.