Germany (Prussia) 1919 Constitution

Table of Contents


Article 135

All inhabitants of the Empire enjoy full freedom of religious belief and conscience. Undisturbed public worship is guaranteed by the Constitution and is under the protection of the state. The general statutes are not hereby affected.

Article 136

The civil and civic rights and duties are neither qualified nor restricted by the exercise of religious freedom.

The enjoyment of civil and civic rights and the admission to public offices are independent of religious belief.

No one is obliged to reveal his religious conviction. The authorities have the right to ask about membership in a religious society only so far as rights and duties are dependent thereon or a statutory statistical inquiry demands it.

No one may be forced into a church ceremony or celebration or into participation in religious exercises or into the use of a religious form of oath.

Article 137

There exists no state church.

The freedom to form religious societies is guaranteed. The union of religious societies within the territory of of the Empire is subject to no restrictions.

Every religious society regulates and administers its affairs independently within the limits of the law applicable to everybody. It bestows its offices without the co-operation of the state or the civil Commune.

Religious societies become incorporated in accordance with the general provisions of the civil law.

The religious societies remain public corporations in so far as they were such heretofore. Other religious societies are, upon their request, to be granted like rights if they, by their constitution and the number of their members, offer a guaranty of permanence. If several of that class of public-law religious societies join in a union, this union is also a public corporation.

The religious societies which are public corporations are entitled to raise taxes upon the basis of the civil tax lists, in accordance with the provisions of the Land laws.

The associations which have for their object the common cultivation of a view of the world are treated like the religious societies.

As far as the carrying out of these provisions demands further regulation, the same shall be made by Land legislation.

Article 138

Contributions by the state to religious societies, which rest upon statute, treaty or special legal title, shall be commuted by Land legislation. The principles therefor shall be set up by the Empire.

Ownership and other rights of religious societies and unions in their institutions, foundations and other properties designated for purposes of worship, education and charity are guaranteed.

Article 139

Sunday and state holidays remain protected by statute as days of rest from labor and of spiritual edification.

Article 140

To the members of the armed forces is to be granted the necessary free time for the fulfillment of their religious duties.

Article 141

In so far as the need for religious services and cure of souls in the army, hospitals, penal institutions or other public institutions exists, the religious societies are to be admitted for the holding of religious exercises, in connection with which there is to be no compulsion.