Luxembourg

Luxembourg has no state religion, although the dominant religion is Roman Catholicism. The Constitution allows freedom of religious belief and practice in general, but grants privileges to certain religious groups.

 
Systemic Discrimination
Free and Equal

Constitution and government

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and generally respects this right in practice. There is no state religion.

However, the constitution provides for state payment of salaries and pensions for clergy of those religious groups that sign a convention with the government.

In January 2015, the State and the recognised several religious communities (Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, the Reformed Protestant Church of Luxembourg, the Protestant Church, the Orthodox Church, the Jewish congregations and the Muslim community) signing new conventions. This has led to changes in laws whereby the public funding of religious communities has been heavily reduced, religious education is no longer taking place in public schools and the administration of religious buildings and goods linked to Roman Catholic Church (formerly managed by local “fabriques d’églises”, old juridicial structures dating back to 1809) has been transferred to a new church fund and is no longer (mandatorily) funded by local municipalities.
<gouvernement.lu/dam-assets/fr/actualites/articles/2015/01-janvier/20-cdp-accord/Convention.pdf>

Even at this reduced rate, there are no equivalent privileges for non-religious groups, however.

Since 2014, the “Te Deum” in the Cathedral of the Catholic Church of Luxembourg is no longer the official celebration for the national holiday. It has been replaced by a secular ceremony.

Demography

“Under the Act of 31st March 1979 regulating the use of personal data in information processing, STATEC has no right to ask questions about religious, political and philosophical affiliation and trade-union membership in population censuses from 1981 onwards.”
— <statistiques.public.lu/stat/ReportFolders/ReportFolder.aspx?IF_Language=eng&MainTheme=3&FldrName=9>

Owing to the above act, there are no official and reliable numbers about religious affiliations in Luxembourg. However, according to a survey from 2011, pproximately 72% of the Luxembourgers adhere to forms of Christianity (68.7% are Catholics, 1.8% are Protestants, while 1.9% adhere to other Christian denominations, especially Orthodox Christianity). 2.6% of the population follow non-Christian religions. 25% of the Luxembourgers are unaffiliated.
<luxembourg.public.lu/fr/actualites/2011/03/07-religion/>

Education and children’s rights

Religious instruction has been banned in public schools. The courses “religious and moral education” and “moral and social education” were replaced by a new “Life and Society” course. This happened at the beginning of the 2016-2017 academic year for secondary schools (grades 7-12) and then at the beginning of the 2017-2018 academic year for primary schools (grades 1-6).

“The cultural backgrounds of students are increasingly diverse, as are the religious beliefs of families. The public school must be the space for dialogue where coexistence is built and where respect for differences is learned. That is why “Life and Society” brings all students together in a single course.”
— <portal.education.lu/vieso/>

Freedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values

The constitution guarantees freedom of expression. A broad range of opinions are generally represented in newspapers. No restriction is placed on internet access.

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