The Constitution and the Church's Right of Self-Determination

Art. 137 Abs. 3 WRV: Every religious society assigns and administers its affairs independently within the limits of the law valid for all.

The self-determination, to which the churches in Germany call upon, is derived from 1919, when the Weimar Constitution first came into force. The provisions of Articles 136, 137, 138, 139 and 141 of the Weimar Constitution became a part of the Constitution in May 1949 through Art. 140 of the Constitution

For the churches, self-determination means that they can fill internal offices without the influence of the government or outside interferences, collect church taxes and govern all matters relating to the services themselves. However, they must adhere to the limitations of universally applicable laws.

© Büro zur Umsetzung von Gleichbehandlung e.V. 2011