Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
Report
September 13, 2011

The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom and, in practice, the government generally enforced these protections.

The government generally respected religious freedom in law and in practice. There was no change in the status of respect for religious freedom by the government during the reporting period.

There were no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.

The U.S. government discusses religious freedom with the government as part of its overall policy to promote human rights.

Section I. Religious Demography

The country has an area of 0.8 square miles and a population of 35,000. Roman Catholicism is the state religion, and most of the approximately 7,200 citizens adhere to that faith. There are five Catholic churches in addition to a cathedral. An archbishop presides over the Archdiocese of Monaco. Protestantism is the next most practiced religion with two churches. There is one Greek Orthodox Church. The constitution provides the estimated 28,000 noncitizen residents the same religious freedom as citizens enjoy. Most noncitizens also adhere to either Catholicism or Protestantism. There are an estimated 1,000 Jewish noncitizen residents and one synagogue. There are also some noncitizens who practice Islam or other religious beliefs. There are no mosques.

Section II. Status of Government Respect for Religious Freedom

Legal/Policy Framework

Please refer to Appendix C in the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for the status of the government's acceptance of international legal standards http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/appendices/index.htm.

The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom and, in practice, the government generally enforced these protections.

The government does not have an official list of banned groups, but denies registration to those considered to be involved in "dangerous" sectarian activity by France's Inter-Ministerial Mission of Vigilance and Combat Against Sectarian Aberrations (MIVILUDES). Any request to create an association or hold a meeting from such a group is denied.

Catholic ritual generally plays an important role in state festivities, such as the annual national day celebration and significant events in the life of the ruling family.

The government observes the following religious holidays as national holidays: Saint Devote's Day; Easter Monday; Ascension Day; Whit Monday; Corpus Christi; Assumption Day; All Saints' Day; Immaculate Conception; and Christmas.

Restrictions on Religious Freedom

The government generally respected religious freedom in law and in practice. There was no change in the status of respect for religious freedom by the government during the reporting period.

There is no law against proselytizing by religious organizations. The government reported that it neither received nor denied requests for registration of groups considered to be involved with dangerous sectarian activity by MIVILUDES during the reporting period; however, the government stated that if such requests were made, they would be denied.

There were no reports of abuses, including religious prisoners or detainees, in the country.

Section III. Status of Societal Actions Affecting Enjoyment of Religious Freedom

There were no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice. There is an active ecumenical movement. Religious leaders of various denominations periodically participate in joint religious services and cultural events to promote greater understanding and mutual tolerance among different confessions. Representatives of all government-recognized religious groups are invited to participate in state celebrations in the Cathedral of Monaco.

Section IV. U.S. Government Policy

The U.S. government discusses religious freedom with the government as part of its overall policy to promote human rights.

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