REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA                                     
                                                                                
                               LAW                                              
                                                                                
                               ON                                               
                                                                                
             RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES AND ASSOCIATIONS                             
                                                                                
                  OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA                                  
                                                                                
                                                                                
                                                                                
     Article 1.  Purpose of the Law                                             
     This Law  shall   establish the legal relations of religious               
communities and  associations   and the  State of  Lithuania, and               
shall  implement     the  human  right  of  freedom  of  religion               
consolidated by  the Constitution  of the  Republic of Lithuania,               
other laws and international documents and agreements.                          
                                                                                
     Article 2. Right  of  Freedom of Religion                                  
     Lithuania does not have a  state religion.                                 
     Every individual within the Republic of Lithuania shall have               
the right   to  choose freely any  religion or faith, and to also               
change his  choice individually  or with  others, to  profess  it               
privately or  publicly, to  perform religious  rites, to practice               
his faith and to provide instruction thereof.                                   
     No one  may force another person, nor  himself  be forced to               
choose or  to profess any  faith or religion.                                   
     The human  freedom to profess or propagate religion or faith               
may not be limited by any other means, than by law alone and only               
when the   security of society, public order, people's health and               
morality, as well as  of  other  fundamental  rights and freedoms               
of individuals must be guaranteed.                                              
     Parents and  guardians shall  not be restricted in providing               
for the  religious, and  moral upbringing   of their children and               
charges, in accordance with their own convictions.                              
     A crime  or failure  to implement laws may not be excused by               
the religion or                                                                 
     faith practised by  an individual.                                         
     Believers shall  have the  right to  freely  join  religious               
communities and  associations, and  also to  establish  religious               
organisations.                                                                  
     Every  individual   may  on   the  basis  of  his  religious               
convictions choose  an alternative   (labour)  service in lieu of               
the obligatory military service.                                                
                                                                                
     Article 3. Equality among People Regardless of their                       
               Religion                                                         
     All individuals,  regardless of  the religion  they profess,               
their religious  convictions or their relationship with religion,               
shall be   equal  before the law. It shall be prohibited to limit               
their rights   and freedoms directly or indirectly,  or  to apply               
privileges.                                                                     
     An  individual's   religion    shall  not  be  indicated  in               
documents issued by state  institutions and organisations.                      
                                                                                
     Article 4. Religious Communities, Associations and                         
               Centres                                                          
     A  religious   community     is  comprised  of  a  group  of               
individuals seeking  to implement the aims of  the same religion.               
It may  be a  local   subdivision of  a  corresponding  religious               
association.                                                                    
     Religious associations  are unions   of  church and  uniform               
religious organisations namely, communities striving to implement               
the aims of the same religion.  An association shall be comprised               
                                                                                
of no  fewer than  two religious  communities who  are subject to               
mutual leadership.                                                              
     Religious  centres  are  higher  governing  institutions  of               
religious associations.                                                         
                                                                                
     Article 5. Traditional Religious Communities and                           
               Associations of Lithuania                                        
     The state  recognises nine traditional religious communities               
and associations  existing in Lithuania, which comprise a part of               
the historical,  spiritual  and  social  heritage  of  Lithuania:               
Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Evangelical Lutheran, Evangelical               
Reformed, Russian Orthodox, Old Believer, Judaistic, Sunni Muslim               
and Karaite.                                                                    
                                                                                
     Article 6. Recognition of  other Religious Associations                    
     Other  (non   traditional)  religious  associations  may  be               
granted  state   recognition  as  being  a  part  of  Lithuania's               
historical, spiritual and social heritage, if they are  backed by               
society  and their instruction and rites are not contrary to laws               
and morality.   State  recognition denotes  state backing  of the               
spiritual,   cultural    and   social   heritage   of   religious               
associations.                                                                   
     The Seimas  of the  Republic of Lithuania shall grant  state               
recognition.  Religious   associations   may      request   state               
recognition following  the elapse  of  a  period  of no less than               
25  years   from  the  date  of  their  initial  registration  in               
Lithuania.    If   request  is denied,  it  may  be  resubmitted,               
following the  elapse of  10 years,  from the  day request    was               
denied.                                                                         
     The Seimas  shall deliberate the question upon receipt of  a               
conclusion from the Ministry of Justice.                                        
     The initial  registration alluded  to in  part two  of  this               
Article has  taken place, provided that the religious association               
acted legally  (was registered)  in Lithuania  after February 16,               
1918.                                                                           
                                                                                
     Article 7. Basic Principles of State and Religious                         
               Community and Association  Relations                             
     Religious communities  and  associations  shall  not  fulfil               
state functions,  while the  state shall not fulfil the functions               
of religious communities and associations.                                      
     Religious communities  and associations shall have the right               
to freely  organise  in  accordance  with  their  hierarchic  and               
institutional structure, and manage their inner life according to               
its canons and statutes, as well as other norms.                                
     All religious communities and associations possessing  legal               
person rights may obtain state support for culture, education and               
charity, in accordance with the procedure established by laws.                  
                                                                                
     Article 8. Freedom  to Perform Religious Rites                             
     Religious  rites   and  cult   ceremonies  shall  be  freely               
performed within  cult   premises and  in their vicinity, in  the               
homes and  flats  of  citizens,  funeral  homes,  cemeteries  and               
crematoriums.                                                                   
     Pursuant to  request by  believers religious  rites shall be               
performed in  hospitals, social  care facilities  and  places  of               
detention.   The time   for  performing religious  rites and cult               
ceremonies, and  other  conditions  shall  be  co-ordinated  with               
authorities of   the aforementioned institutions. The authorities               
of these institutions shall provide opportunities for performance               
of religious rites.                                                             
     The  authorities   of  military   units,  upon   request  by               
believers,  shall  provide  opportunities  for    performance  of               
religious rites  in accordance with the procedure established  by               
statutes.                                                                       
                                                                                
     Upon  request  by  students  who  are  believers  and  their               
parents, the  rites of  traditional and  other  state  recognised               
religious communities  and associations,  which are not  contrary               
to   the secular  school  concept,  may  be  performed  in  state               
education and training institutions; participation shall be based               
upon free choice.                                                               
     Religious rites  may be performed in other public locations,               
as well,  if those  rites are  not in violation of  public order,               
people's health,  morals or  the rights  and  freedoms  of  other               
individuals.                                                                    
     Religious communities and associations having  the rights of               
legal persons may,  according to the procedure established by the               
local government,  have their  own denominational  cemeteries  or               
their own  territory  within common cemeteries. The procedure for               
burial in   denominational   cemeteries  or within    a  cemetery               
territory,  allotted   to  a  religious  denomination,  shall  be               
established by the corresponding community or association.                      
     A complaint  regarding  refusal to grant permission for,  or               
interference with  the performance  of  religious  rites  may  be               
registered with a higher governing institution or the court.                    
                                                                                
     Article  9. Religious Instruction                                          
     Religious instruction  may be provided  in houses of prayer,               
state and  other educational and training institutions as well as               
other premises and locations.                                                   
     Religion  of     traditional    and  other  state-recognised               
religious communities   and  associations may  be taught in state               
education institutions  upon request by parents (guardians, care-               
takers).                                                                        
     The  state   shall  recognise   religious   instruction   by               
traditional and  other state-recognised religious communities and               
associations in  denominational  educational institutions (Sunday               
schools of those denominations or other instruction groups), upon               
registration of  religious education programmes with the Ministry               
of Education and Science and presentation therewith, of documents               
attesting to  teacher qualification,  as well  as   a request  by               
the   spiritual authorities of appropriate religious community or               
association.                                                                    
     Students   who are    wards  of  the  state    are  provided               
religious instruction  according to  the  religion  professed  by               
their family or relatives.                                                      
     The procedure of religious instruction in state institutions               
of  education and training is regulated by laws on education.                   
                                                                                
     Article 10.  Legalisation of  Legal Person Rights of                       
               Traditional Religious Communities and                            
               Associations                                                     
     Traditional religious  communities and  associations, having               
the rights  of a  legal person,  shall  inform  the  Ministry  of               
Justice thereof.                                                                
     Newly-established  (re-established)   traditional  religious               
communities and associations shall acquire  the rights of a legal               
person,   pursuant    to  a  report    in  writing    of    their               
establishment (re-establishment),  to the  Ministry of Justice by               
their authorities, and the continuity of  a specific community or               
association is  established by  taking into  account its  canons,               
statutes and also, other norms.                                                 
                                                                                
     Article 11. Granting of Legal Person Rights  to Other                      
               Religious Communities and Associations                           
     Other religious  communities and  associations shall acquire               
the rights of a legal person upon registration of their  statutes               
or  the documents   corresponding to them.                                      
     Religious communities may be registered, provided they unite               
no fewer  than 15  members namely, adult citizens of the Republic               
of Lithuania.                                                                   
     Religious associations  may   be registered,  provided  they               
unite no  fewer  than  two  religious  communities.    Registered               
religious communities    which  are  part  of  the  structure  of               
registered religious   associations,  and centres  shall  acquire               
rights of   a  legal person, pursuant to their recognition by the               
authorities of   the  association and   the  Ministry of  Justice               
being informed thereof, in writing.                                             
     In order  to  effect  registration  of  the  statutes  or  a               
corresponding document  of a  religious community/association,  a               
written  application   shall  be   submitted  of   the  religious               
community/association's  initiative   meeting   protocol      and               
membership list.                                                                
     The    religious     community/association    statutes    or               
corresponding documents which shall be submitted must indicate:                 
     1)name and main office of religious  community/association;                
     2) principles,  activity directions  and aims  of  professed               
religious instruction;                                                          
     3) organisational  structure and  authorities  of  religious               
community/association;                                                          
     4) procedure  of   management,  use  and  sale  of  property               
belonging to religious community/association;                                   
     5) procedure for closing  of religious community/association               
and distribution of property  remaining following liquidation.                  
     The Ministry  of Justice  shall register  the statutes  or a               
corresponding document of religious communities/ associations  no               
later than  within a  six-month period  from the  time  of  their               
submittal.                                                                      
     Should the  submitted statutes or corresponding documents of               
the religious  community/association fail  to include  all of the               
indicated  data,   the  Ministry  of  Justice  shall  return  the               
aforementioned document   within  15 days  of its receipt, to the               
community/association   and indicate  what shortcomings should be               
rectified. The  period for  registering   corrected  statutes  or               
corresponding document shall be reckoned anew.                                  
                                                                                
     Article 12. Refusal to Register Statutes or                                
               Corresponding Document of Religious                              
               Community/Association                                            
     Religious community/association  statutes  or  corresponding               
document shall not be registered if:                                            
     1)   data indicated  in Article  11 of  this Law    are  not               
included therein;                                                               
     2)   activity of  religious  community/association  violates               
human rights and freedoms or public order;                                      
     3)     statutes  or   corresponding  document  of  religious               
community/association  of   the  same  name,  have  already  been               
registered.                                                                     
     Upon refusal  to  register  religious  community/association               
statutes or  corresponding  document,  the  applicants  shall  be               
informed about  this in  writing, no  later than  within  5  days               
following adoption  of the  decision, and  given specific reasons               
for refusal.                                                                    
     Refusal to  register the  statutes or corresponding document               
of  religious community/association, may be appealed in court.                  
                                                                                
     Article 13. Property Rights of Religious Communities,                      
               Associations and Centres                                         
     Religious communities,  associations  and centres shall have               
the right  of ownership  to houses  of prayer, residential houses               
and other  buildings and edifices, production, social and charity               
objects as  well as  other types  of property,  required for  the               
activities of religious communities and associations.                           
     Religious   communities/associations   and   centres   shall               
administer, use  and sell  their property  in accordance with the               
laws of  the Republic of Lithuania.                                             
                                                                                
     Article 14. Education, Charity and Mercy - Related                         
               Activities of Religious Communities,                             
               Associations and Centres                                         
     Religious communities,  associations and centres  shall have               
the right to establish and have general education schools as well               
as other  institutions of  instruction, education and culture and               
also, institutions of instruction and  training   for preparation               
of clergy  and  religion  instructors,  in  accordance  with  the               
procedure established by laws and other normative acts.                         
     Educational institutions  of traditional and other religious               
communities, associations  and centres  having the  rights  of  a               
legal person,  and   schools  of  such    religious  communities,               
associations   and centres, that provide the education prescribed               
by the  state, shall  receive financial  and other  support  from               
state and  local government  budgets,    according  to  procedure               
established by laws and other normative acts.                                   
     All religious  communities, associations  and centres    may               
engage in  charity, participate  in mercy-related  activity   and               
establish medical institutions as well as charitable institutions               
and organisations.                                                              
     Article 15. Publishing and Economic Activity of                            
               Religious Communities, Associations and                          
               Centres                                                          
     Religious communities,  associations and  centres shall have               
the right   to  engage in  publishing,  production  and  economic               
activity,     establishing  public   information  media,  charity               
foundations and  other organisations,  in accordance  with    the               
procedure established by laws.                                                  
                                                                                
     Article 16. Taxation of Religious Communities,                             
               Associations and Centres and of  Their                           
               Employees                                                        
     The income  namely, contributions, income resulting from the               
sale of  property  acquired  through  charitable  means,  of  all               
religious  communities,   associations  and   centres     (higher               
governing institutions),  shall not be taxable, provided they are               
intended for  construction, repair  or restoration  of a house of               
prayer, charity, culture and education.                                         
     The income  received by the clergy of religious communities,               
associations and  centres, assistants  at religious  rites    and               
service  staff  (  except  individuals  performing  construction,               
repair and  restoration work),   from  the funds indicated in the               
first part  of this  Article, shall  not be  subject to tax  of a               
natural person.                                                                 
     Religious necessities  and literature  brought   across  the               
border into  the Republic of Lithuania, through the authorisation               
of religious  communities, associations  and centres  having  the               
rights of a legal person, shall not be subject to customs tax.                  
     Enterprises     (organisations)  established   by  religious               
communities, associations  and  centres    shall  be  subject  to               
taxation in accordance with the laws.                                           
                                                                                
     Article 17. Legal  Regulation of  Work of Individuals                      
               Employed by Religious  Communities,                              
               Associations  and Centres                                        
     Religious communities,  associations and  centres shall have               
the right   to  employ individuals, with whom  work contracts are               
drawn up  in accordance  with  the procedure established by  laws               
of the Republic of Lithuania.                                                   
     Members of  clergy  may  be  supported  from  the  religious               
community or  association funds, in accordance with the procedure               
established by  such, or  may receive their support directly from               
believers in return for religious services rendered.                            
                                                                                
     Article 18. Social Security  and Social Insurance of                       
               Religious Communities, Associations and                          
               Centres                                                          
     Rights to  social insurance and other rights and guarantees,               
established by  laws of the Republic of Lithuania, shall apply to               
individuals,  employed   according  to   labour  contract,   with               
religious   communities,    associations   or    centres,   their               
institutions, enterprises and organisations.                                    
     For these  purposes, religious communities, associations and               
centres shall  contribute to the State Social Insurance Fund from               
their  income,   the  same     amounts   as  state   enterprises,               
institutions and organisations.                                                 
     Members of the clergy and other individuals employed without               
labour  contracts  by  religious  communities,  associations  and               
centres, may  make their  own private  contributions to the State               
Social Insurance  Fund according  to   procedure  established  by               
laws.                                                                           
                                                                                
     Article 19. International Co-operation among  Religious                    
               Communities and Associations                                     
     Religious communities  and associations shall have the right               
to establish  and maintain international  relations and contacts,               
participate  in   international  organisations   as  well  as  in               
activities of  their governing  bodies,  exchange    information,               
receive religious  necessities,  literature  and  charity    from               
international organisations and private individuals.                            
     Religious communities and associations shall be able to send               
their members  to other  states for training, organise clergy and               
pilgrim journeys  abroad and  to cooperage  in  other  ways  with               
religious organisations located abroad.                                         
                                                                                
     Article 20. Suspension or Cessation of  Activity of                        
               Religious Communities, Associations and                          
               Centres                                                          
     Should a religious community, association or centre  fail to               
act according  to  the  registered  statutes  or    corresponding               
documents thereof  or should    their  activity      violate  the               
Constitution or  this Law,  the Ministry  of Justice shall inform               
the religious  community,  association  or  centre  which  is  in               
violation of  laws and  indicates the  term of  time during which               
violations  must   be  rectified.     Failure   to  rectify  said               
violations, shall  result in  a court  appeal by  the Ministry of               
Justice, for  suspension of  activity of the religious community,               
association or centre.                                                          
     Activity of a religious community, association or centre man               
be suspended  for a term not to exceed 6 months. Should violation               
cited by  the court, fail to be rectified during this term, their               
activity may be ceased per court decision.                                      
     Activity of a religious community, association or centre may               
also be  terminated per  own decision.  Activity of  a  religious               
community or  association may  be terminated  per decision of its               
higher governing institution.                                                   
     Following the  termination of   activity    of  a  religious               
community, association or centre, the remaining property shall be               
transferred to  the  successor  in  interest,  specified  in  its               
statutes or  another corresponding document.  If the successor in               
interest is  not specified  or does not exist, the property shall               
be taken over by the state.                                                     
                                                                                
     Article 21. Implementation of the Law                                      
     This  Law  shall  be  implemented  in  accordance  with  the               
Republic of Lithuania Law on the Procedure for the Implementation               
of the  Law on  Religious Communities  and  Associations  of  the               
Republic of Lithuania."                                                         
                                                                                
     I promulgate  this Law  passed by the Seimas of the Republic               
of Lithuania.                                                                   
                                                                                
Algirdas Brazauskas                                                             
President of the Republic                                                       
                                                                                
Vilnius                                                                         
October 4, 1995                                                                 
No. I - 1057