Position of Churches and Religious Communities and Exercise of Freedom of Worship within Serbian Constitutions Cover Image

Položaj crkava i vjerskih zajednica i ostvarivanje vjerskih sloboda u ustavima Srbije
Position of Churches and Religious Communities and Exercise of Freedom of Worship within Serbian Constitutions

Author(s): Dragan Novaković
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Institut društvenih znanosti Ivo Pilar
Keywords: Serbia; Yugoslavia; constitutions; freedom of worship; churches; religious communities

Summary/Abstract: The paper concerned sets out the provisions of various Serbian Constitutions, which have been enacted in order to regulate the position of churches and religious communities, as well as the freedom of worship within the period of the contemporary Serbian statehood, also including the constitutional acts covering relatively long periods since Serbian involvement in different forms of the Yugoslav unions. Owing to the fact that a legal norm does not come to be out of nowhere and does not function based on its own principles, it was necessary to locate the entire process of promulgation of a constitution within some wider social and historical context providing better overview of the efforts exerted by the Serbian political and intellectual elite to find out the best possible form of state, which would be based on democratic principles and make it possible to attain continuous economic growth and cultural development. The analysis of original constitutional texts clearly demonstrates an uninterrupted progress in the matter of the freedom of worship, starting from the basic possibility of following up one’s own religion, passing through the period of establishment of the position of Serbian Orthodox Church within the state as well as the right of other confessions to feel free and protected in exercising their activities, up to the harmonization of constitutional provisions relating to this rather sensitive field with the most important International Law documentation and the EU Acquis. The research work relating to the constitutional documentation and to the specific conditions in which the Serbian state has functioned either autonomously or in union with others, provide an outlook of one of the most significant periods of Serbian history, headed at the beginning by a despot, based on the oriental set of values, devoid of any institutional mechanisms to protect the basic human right to live, up to an independent state determined to build its future within the framework of the European Union, following in the tracks of the best democratic traditions.

  • Issue Year: 20/2011
  • Issue No: 112
  • Page Range: 517-539
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: Croatian