Lithuanian MPs clarify procedure for recognition of religious communities

  • 2023-03-23
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian MPs on Thursday passed amendments to ensure that the issue of state recognition of a religious community does not remain in limbo, obliging the parliament to adopt a resolution of one kind or another.

Under the amendments to the Law on Religious Communities and Associations, if the Seimas refuses to grant state recognition to a non-traditional religious community, it will be obliged to draft a relevant resolution. 

The resolution will have to state the grounds and reasons why the religious community is believed to have no support in society and why its teachings or practices are deemed to be contrary to the law or to decency. 

The amendments were passed in a vote of 60 to 32 with 21 abstentions and will come into force on May 1.  

The procedure for recognizing religious communities had to be amended after the Seimas failed to adopt a resolution granting state recognition to the ancient Baltic religious community Romuva, which appealed to the European Court of Human Rights and won the case.