Liechtenstein in a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. Doubly landlocked between Switzerland and Austria, it has an estimated population of 35,000.

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Constitution and government

The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as freedom of opinion and expression.  However, the constitution makes the Catholic Church the “National Church” of the country.

The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of religion or belief.  The criminal code prohibits any form of discrimination against or debasement of any religion or its adherents. However, according to the constitution, Roman Catholicism is the state religion “with full protection from the state.” As such, it receives higher government subsidies than other religious organizations, holds a guaranteed role in education and religious teaching in schools, and has a voice in the political and legal decision-making process.

Religious funding

The government gives money not only to the Catholic Church, but also to other denominations. Catholic and Protestant churches receive regular annual contributions from the government in proportion to membership as determined in the 2000 census; smaller religious groups are eligible to apply for grants for associations of foreigners or specific projects.

Education and children’s rights

Religious education is part of the curriculum at public schools. Catholic or Protestant religious education is mandatory in all primary schools, but exemptions are routinely granted. Islamic religious classes have been introduced in some primary schools since 2008. The curriculum for Catholic confessional education is determined by the Roman Catholic Church with only a minor complementary supervisory role by the municipalities. At the secondary school level, parents and pupils choose between traditional confessional education organized by their religious community and the non-confessional (secular) subject “Religion and Culture.” Since its introduction in 2003, 90 percent of Catholic pupils have chosen the non-confessional subject.

Freedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values

The constitution guarantees freedoms of expression and the media, and these freedoms are respected in practice. Freedoms of assembly and association are also protected and respected in practice.