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Díkaion Revista de Fundamentación Jurídica

Print version ISSN 0120-8942

Abstract

PRIETO, VICENTE. LEGAL RECOGNITION OF RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS UNDER COLOMBIAN LAW: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE STATUTORY LAW ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. Díkaion [online]. 2012, vol.21, n.1, pp.285-314. ISSN 0120-8942.

The Colombian Constitution of 1991 and the Statutory Law on religious Freedom (1994) constitute the first and foremost benchmark with respect to treatment of the religious factor under civil law. Development of the principles of religious freedom, secularism, equality and cooperation has affected the legal regime applicable to churches and their organizations. It created a new legal status for churches and denominations, and their respective registration, with the possibility of entering into agreements or pacts with the Colombian state under public law. At the same time, the specific recognition afforded to the Catholic Church and its organizations under the Concordat with the Holy See (1973) continues. The different possibilities with respect to legal form could raise concerns about the principle of equality, particularly with respect to the meaning and scope of the various forms of personification provided for under the law and its instrumental nature in serving religious freedom. The objective is to overcome formalist visions and to underscore the balance that should exist between social reality, original legality (human rights) and legal-positive formalization, taking into account the experiences of other countries. Some possible changes in the Statutory Law on religious Freedom are suggested.

Keywords : religious freedom; legal entity; equality; agreements with religious organizations.

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