International Religious Freedom Report 2006
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

The constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respected this right in practice; however, there are some restrictions. Roman Catholicism is the official religion. Religious freedom, freedom of religious practices, and public expression are provided for in Articles 2, 9, and 23 of the constitution.

There was no change in the status of respect for religious freedom during the period covered by this report. The Government denies religious organizations regarded as "sects" permission to operate.

The generally amicable relationship among religious groups in society contributed to religious freedom.

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

Section I. Religious Demography

The principality has an area of 0.8 square miles and a population of approximately 32,100. Catholicism is the state religion, and most of the approximately 7,200 Monegasque citizens living in the principality adhered to that religion, at least nominally. There were five Catholic churches in the principality and a cathedral presided over by an archbishop. Protestantism was the next most practiced religion, with two churches. There was one synagogue in the principality. The constitution provides the nearly 25,000 noncitizen residents in the principality the same religious freedom as citizens. Most noncitizens also adhered to either Catholicism or Protestantism, although there were some residents who practiced Judaism, Islam, or other world religious groups. There were no mosques in the principality. No missionaries operated in the principality.

Section II. Status of Religious Freedom

Legal/Policy Framework

The constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respected this right in practice; however, there are some restrictions. Catholicism is the state religion and most citizens practiced it. The Catholic ritual generally played an important role in state festivities, such as the annual national day celebration.

Restrictions on Religious Freedom

Government policy and practice contributed to the generally free practice of religion.

No missionaries operated in the principality and proselytizing was strongly discouraged. However, there is no law against proselytizing by religious organizations that are registered formally by the Ministry of State. Organizations regarded as religious "sects" routinely have been denied such registration; however, there were no reports of religious organizations being denied registration during the period covered by this report.

There were no reports of religious prisoners or detainees in the principality.

Forced Religious Conversion

There were no reports of forced religious conversion, including of minor U.S. citizens who had been abducted or illegally removed from the United States, or of the refusal to allow such citizens to be returned to the United States.

Section III. Societal Abuses and Discrimination

The generally amicable relationship among religions in society contributed to religious freedom. There were no known ecumenical movements or activities to promote greater mutual understanding and tolerance among adherents of different religious groups. There were no reports of societal religious violence in the principality.

Section IV. U.S. Government Policy

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

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