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(unofficial translation)

Draft Law "On freedom of religion and mutual relations with the State"

CHAPTER I
GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1
Scope

This law confirms the continuity of the juridical personality of the religious communities historically present in Albania: the Muslim Community of Albania, the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania, the Catholic Church of Albania, and the Bektashi World Centre.

Article 2
Religious Community, Group, and Grouping

A religious community is the entirety of religious believers, who exercise their religious activity in a certain religious order, in compliance with the rules, principles, and canons of the community, and who are committed to take part in the life and mission of this community. A community is distinguished by its historical and territorial character. A religious community is entitled to ask the State Institution on Religious Affairs to sign agreements, which are approved by the Council of Ministers. Communities are registered with the Register of Religious Communities and Groups.

A religious group is the entirety of religious individuals, who exercise their religious activity in a certain religious order, in compliance with the rules, principles, and canons of the religious group, and who are committed to take part in the life and mission of this group. A religious group is entitled to register with the Register of Religious Communities and Groups.

Religious groupings are forms of collaboration and organization among religious communities and/or groups, preserving their previously acquired juridical personality. Groupings are registered as such in the Register of Religious Groupings.

A religious organization, for the purposes of this law, is a general term which refers to religious communities, religious groups, religious groupings, and religious foundations.

Article 3
Purpose

The purpose of this law is:

a) To ensure that all rights sanctioned by the Constitution, international standards, and the laws in force regarding the freedom of religion against any direct or indirect discrimination are respected;
b) To guarantee the freedom of individuals to choose or change their religion, demonstrate it individually or collectively in religious institutions or outside them, through cults, education, practices, or through carrying out religious rituals;
c) To ensure the freedom of individuals not to be stopped or forced to be part of a religious organization, or take part in its practices, rituals, and steering structures;
d) Freedom of religion may not become subject to restrictions other than those, which provided for in the law, constitute the necessary measures in a democratic society for (ensuring) the public safety, order, protecting the state, public health and moral, or for protecting the others' rights and freedoms.
e) To recognize and guarantee respect for the rights of religious communities, their institutions and structures, as well as the rights of legal persons established or recognized by them, to freely conduct religious, educational, and charitable activities.
f) To ensure good relations between the State and the religious communities on principles of equality and non-discrimination, mutual respect of one-another's independence, as well as cooperation in the interest of each and everyone.

Article 4
Law applicability

1. This law is applicable throughout the territory of the Republic of Albania to all legal and natural persons, residing in the territory of the Republic of Albania.

2. Albanian citizens with a temporary or permanent residence outside the borders of the Republic of Albania are entitled to the protection this law provides in the relationships they establish with the Albanian state bodies.

3. Legal and natural persons, whose domicile, residence, or seat is outside the territory of the Republic of Albania, are entitled to the protection this law provides in the relationships they establish with the Albanian state bodies.

4. All the central and local state authorities, including the legislative authority, shall observe the freedom of faith and religion, as well as the right to exercise them, by avoiding every discrimination in this field, in all the normative act they approve and issue according to their competencies.

5. Agreements signed between representatives of religious communities and the Council of Ministers, ratified by the Assembly according to Article 10/5 of the Constitution, may not contain provisions which violate the freedom of religion, and/or which contain discriminations as provided for in Article 2/2, 3 of this law.

Article 5
General provisions

This law is based on the general principles sanctioned by the Constitution of the Republic of Albania, the international acts, which ensure the freedom of religion, and in which Albania is a party, as well as on special principles, among which are the following:

1. Respect for, and protection of individual dignity, regardless of one's religious background or beliefs;

2. Protection of, and respect for religious pluralism, from both the traditional and the recently updated viewpoint;

3. Freedom of religious organizations to conduct their mission independently from the state, respecting the state secularity and the legislation in force;

4. The harmony of relationships both between public institutions and religious organizations, as well as among themselves, as precondition for the smooth exercise and fulfilment of human rights and freedoms.

Article 6
Coordination with state bodies

1. The Council of Ministers represents the State in the mutual relationships with religious organizations, according to the structure provided for in the law.

2. In relationships with state bodies and institutions, the religious organizations shall be represented by bodies appointed by them, and they shall use their identifying stamp and logo.


CHAPTER II
FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND CONSCIENCE

Article 7
The right to exercise freedom of relig
ion

The exercising of the freedom of religion and conscience includes:

1. The right to establish or take part in religious organizations, whose purpose is to practice and promote the religious faith in compliance with their doctrine, and their other internal rules;

2. The right to undertake functions or services for fulfilling the obligations emerging from their faith or beliefs, in compliance with the principles of their faith or beliefs;

3. The right to become or not  become a member of religious organizations;

4. The right to disclose their faith or beliefs;

5. The right not to pronounce themselves about their faith or beliefs;

6. The right of parents to educate their children according to their religious beliefs, under their direct care and responsibility;

7. The right to keep contacts with believers and to take part in activities of religious organizations, which operate at the international level;

8. The right of information about issues related to religion, and their beliefs;

9. To create and use necessary means for purposes of exercising a cult in compliance with the laws in force.

Article 8
Guaranteeing freedom of religion and conscience

All the Albanian citizens, foreign citizens, and persons without a citizenship, who live in the Republic of Albania, are entitled to freedom of religion and conscience according to the constitutional provisions in force, international acts ratified by the Assembly of Albania, and this law.

Article 9
The meaning of the negative freedom of religion

1. No one may be forced by any person or group of persons to act in contradiction with his religious beliefs or conscience, or hindered in showing his beliefs individually or collectively, privately or publicly.

2. No one may be allowed to undertake, because of his religion or his religious beliefs, actions or behaviours, which provoke or discriminate against individuals or groups of individuals with religious beliefs different from their own.

3. No one may be discriminated against, or privileged, directly or indirectly, because of his religion or beliefs.

4. No one may be forced to give up his religious functions or services, or take part in them against his will.

5. No one may be forced to take part in religious celebrations or rituals, or take an oath on religion-based formula.

6. No one may be forced to disclose his religious beliefs, except when this is related to rights or obligations, or compilation of various statistics.


Article 10
Restrictions on freedom of religion


1. Individual or collective practice of religion or conscience may be restricted only by law with the aim of guaranteeing public safety and order, social moral or fundamental rights and freedoms of other individuals.
2. Exercise of the freedom of religion and conscience shall not justify shirking the tasks arising from the implementation of law.
3. Those citizens, who due to their religion or belief cannot perform obligatory military service, are entitled to alternative service to the Albanian State (in compliance with the respective law). In order to enjoy such right, citizens subject to obligatory military service shall submit a certificate confirming their religious faith and belief (see article 9/6).

Article 11
Guarantees for special subjects


1. The right envisioned in article 7/2 as well as the right to posses and use objects necessary for practising religious faith or beliefs, shall also be guaranteed for individuals who:
a. perform military service or other civilian services;
b. are in healthcare centres or social care institutions, state run recreational facilities for children and young people;
c. serving their criminal sentence in respective institutions, re-education centres or social care centres for young people.

2. The ways for practising faith and other beliefs pursuant to paragraph I of this article, shall be regulated with special acts.

Article 12
The right to receive/provide (individual) financial contribution

Every individual, believer or not, has the right to provide financial assistance to religious organizations and other charitable institutions subordinated to them or to receive financial aid from the same.

CHAPTER III
RELATIONS BETWEEN STATE AND THE RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS

Article 13
Separation of religious organizations from the state


Religious organizations are separate from the state.
The state is impartial in religious affairs; it recognizes equality among religious organizations and respects their independence. Under this concept:
1. None of the religions or religious communities shall be recognized by the state as a state religion or religious organization.
2. None of the religions or religious organizations or their officials shall have special privileges by the state compared with any other religion, religious organizations or officials, or be official part of any state institutions.
3. The state shall not interfere with the internal organization of the religious organizations and with their religious activity. No public authority shall influence the election, appointment or dismissal of religious officials, or the establishment of structures within the religious organizations charged with the performance of religious services and other rituals.
4. The state may provide material assistance for healthcare activities, education, charity and social services offered by religious organizations, provided that such services are provided without discrimination on the part of the religious organization with regards to not only the freedom of religion but all the aspects of fundamental freedoms and rights.
5. Religious organizations may perform functions related to the family, children and their upbringing or education in compliance with this law. Such functions shall in no case be performed avoiding respective legislation and services provided by the authorized state bodies.
6. Freedom of religious assembly and association is guaranteed in the Albanian legislation. It can be restricted only in cases explicitly stated in the law, in compliance with international standards, only when it is justified by the competent state bodies as necessary to the public safety, protection of health, public moral or fundamental rights and freedoms of third parties.
7. The religious communities are entitled to appeal to the State Institution on Religious Affairs or to the respective administrative bodies those acts which restrict such rights on a case by case basis.
8. Other aspects related to the exercise of this right may be regulated by means of religious agreements as well.

Article 14
State Institution on Religious Affairs


1. A state institution on religious affairs shall be established for coordinating the relations between the state and the religious organizations as well as for following up on issues that may arise from such relations.
2. The state institution on religious affairs is an independent institution which shall acquire legal personality through this law and be established at the Council of Ministers.
3. Duties, composition, organizational structure and the regulation on the functioning of the State Institution on Religious Affairs shall be approved with a decision of the Council of Ministers.

Article 15
Agreements between the Council of Ministers and the Religious Communities

1. Religious Agreements between the Council of Ministers and religious organizations shall be made:

a) when a religious group requests the status of  a religious community, pursuant to the procedures anticipated in article 31 of this law;
b) to regulate important issues regarding the relations of religious organizations with the State, with the aim of collaboration, to the benefit of all, for common interests of the country, for the protection of citizens’ fundamental rights and freedoms regardless of their beliefs and for preventing violation of third parties’ interests.

2. Every religious community having acquired juridical personality according to this law may request to conclude a religious agreement based on article 10 of the Constitution and on this law.

3. Any of the parties may take the initiative for concluding a religious agreement between the Council of Ministers and religious communities.
4. A group of religious communities may also ask for a religious agreement with a particular purpose.
5. Agreements with one or several religious communities may not contain such provisions that bring as a consequence restrictions to the activity of religious communities and other organizations.
6. The parties to the agreement may define certain timelines for the implementation of the agreement.
7. If a request or proposition to sign an agreement is refused by the Council of Ministers, the latter shall explain the reasons of the refusal through a decision, which may be related to constitutionality, legality or financial obligations.
8. The Council of Minister's decision for the refusal of the agreement with one or several religious communities may be appealed by the latter within 30 days from receiving notification of the decision.   

Article 16
Procedures for agreements with religious communities

1. When a religious community submits a request for the signing of an agreement, the request must be reasoned and, together with the respective draft proposal, must be filed with the State Institution for Religious Affairs by the representative of this community. The State Institution for Religious Affairs shall perform all the preliminary actions for the examination and approval of the draft agreement within 30 days for the day of the submission of the request. 
2. The State Institution for Religious Affairs may remand the text of the Agreement or certain provisions for complementation or revision only once, and only when it observes non-compliance with the Constitution and this law. 
3. After the completion of the preliminary actions, the State Institution for Religious Affairs shall forward the request and the draft proposition to the Council of Ministers, which shall examine and approve it by decision within 90 days.
4. Only the Council of Ministers may refuse the request and the draft proposition of the agreement in whole or in part for reasons provided for in Article 15.
5. When the initiative for the signing of the agreement is taken by the Council of Ministers, all the necessary negotiations and preliminary administrative actions with the religious community are performed by the State Institution for Religious Affairs.        

Article 17
Ratification of agreements with religious activities

 Agreements signed between religious activities and the Council of Ministers are ratified or denounced in the Assembly, by a law approved by the majority of the present members, and according to the procedures of the Assembly's Regulation.

CHAPTER IV
CO-OPERATION IN THE BENEFIT OF CITIZENS

Article 18
Religious holidays

1. Religious holidays that will be public holidays are determined by law. Religious communities may propose religious holidays that, in their opinion, may be declared as public holidays.

Article 19
Marriages

1. Union in marriage and the dissolution of marriage are done according to the Family Code provisions.
2. Anyone is free to follow and observe also religious rules and customs for union in marriage, after following the legal way.
3. The religious communities and the State shall jointly commit to protect family values, and especially children.     

Article 20
Training and educational institutions of religious communities

1. Religious communities and groups have the right, in accordance with the applicable legislation on education, to establish and administer training and educational institutions of high and higher level. 
2. The State, religious communities and groups shall commit to guarantee the individual's right to education without distinction, including religious education, observing the parents' right to provide education for their children according to their convictions.
3. The final documents issued by the educational institutions of religious communities and groups are recognized by the state in accordance with the applicable legislation on education.
4. The religious communities shall draft the respective curricula for non-public religious schools for approval by the Ministry of Education, which assesses also the teaching personnel.
5. In the teaching process, the State and the religious organizations shall commit to base the children's education on human rights and democratic principles, oriented towards the preparation of children for a responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, gender equality and brotherhood between people, ethnic, national or religious groups, or people of other origins, opposing racism and fanaticism.
6. Curricula on religious education or religious history may be included in the teaching process in other public and private schools of high and higher level, based on curricula drafted by subject matter experts and approved by the Ministry of Education and Science.

Article 21
Social Activities

Religious organizations shall be entitled to perform social activities of an economic, educational and healthcare character, including the establishment of suitable social facilities in compliance with the legislation in force.

Article 22
Charitable organizations

Religious organizations may found charitable organizations, observing the general rules and the legislation in force.

Article 23
Freedom of expression and the right to information
 
1. The State and the religious organizations shall recognize and accept the public information means as an important element in protecting the freedom of expression and conscience.

2. The religious organizations shall have the right to freely express and disseminate their beliefs through public communication means, the written and visual media, as well as any other recognized form or which shall be recognized in the future. 

3. The religious communities shall have the right to establish public communication structures in compliance with the legislation in force. The content broadcasted through means of mass communication shall not in any case transmit ideas which violate the constitutional order, violate the religious tolerance and discriminate other individuals or religious organizations and incite inter-religious disputes.
 
4. The religious organizations shall have the right to express themselves through means of public communication and information.

5. For research and statistical purposes, the State Committee for Religious Affairs shall have the right to ask the communities various types of data and information.


Article 24
Objects of cult

1. Buildings and objects which serve for performing religious ceremonies shall be considered sacred. The intervention of the government authorities shall be prohibited, except when that shall be required by the law, when there is an execution of a court’s decision or an executive title or in case of immediate danger.

2. The inviolability of public spaces shall be guaranteed by the State. The location of cult objects in public spaces shall be done based only on legal provisions and with the approval of the Regional Council and the Municipalities for the communes and the towns respectively and by the TACRA (Territorial Adjustment Council of the Republic of Albania).

3. Prior to approval, the Regional Council or the Municipality shall draw the opinion of the State Institution for Religious Affairs.

4. The applicable law for religious buildings and objects enjoying the status of “monument of culture” shall be law no. 9048, dated 07.04.2003 “On cultural heritage”.

5. Building projects for cult and religious buildings, as well as their restoration shall take into account the tradition and architecture of national cult objects.


CHAPTER V
ORGANIZATION AND JUDICIAL PERSONALITY RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS

Article 25
Juridical personality of religious organizations

1. Religious communities or groups shall be registered in the Register of Religious Communities and Groups at the Tirana District Court, as prescribed in this law.

2. For this purpose, a Register of Religious Communities and Groups shall be established at the Tirana District Court.

3.  A copy of the decision from the register of a religious community or group shall be sent to the State Institution for Religious Affairs.

4. Religious groupings shall be registered at the State Institution for Religious Affairs, which shall establish a register of religious groupings.

5. The State Institution on Religious Affairs shall establish and maintain the Register of Religious Groups which shall record the court decisions on the registration of the religious groups. 

6. In case of change of addresses or centres of their headquarters, the religious organizations shall enter the respective changes in the respective registers and shall also notify the State Institution for Religious Affairs.


Article 26
Organization and operation of religious communities

1. Religious communities shall be entitled to be organized and fulfil their mission independently.

2. The state shall recognize and respect the religious communities as juridical persons registered in compliance with this law and the respective legislation in force.

3. The organization and operation of the religious communities shall be in compliance with internal laws and canons which shall not be in contradiction with the Constitution and the laws in force.

4. Internal rules and canons, as well as the activity of the religious communities shall observe religious cohabitation and tolerance between religious communities as well as between them and third parties in Albania.

5. Any changes to the internal rules or statutes of religious communities as well as information regarding changes to their steering structures should be notified to the State Institution for Religious Affairs within 30 days.

6. The state recognizes the religious communities the right to establish institutions and structures of a religious or nonreligious character, which acquire or already enjoy the status of juridical person in compliance with the legislation in force.

7. The institutions and structures established by religious communities may perform any
types of social, educational, healthcare and economic activities, in compliance with the rules of the community and the legislation in power which regulate among others the provision with licenses and respective permits.

8. The religious communities may establish on their free will religious groupingss by joining two or more communities in order to carry out common goals. These unions shall be recognized as such after depositing the draft agreement of their establishment with the State Institution for Religious Affairs.

9. Religious communities, religious groups as well as their natural persons shall be non-for-profit juridical persons in all of their legal forms. 


Article 27
Registration of religious communities

1. Registration of religious communities shall be based on the agreement concluded between representatives of respective communities and the Council of Ministers, ratified by the Albanian Assembly. 

2. In addition to the agreement ratified by the parliament, the religious communities shall file the following documentation at the Register for Religious Communities:


a) Request for registering the juridical person, submitted by the legal representative of the community;
b) The foundation act of the juridical person signed by the legal representative of the community in compliance with its rules, which among others define the headquarters of the community, the nature and the object of activity.
c) The charter or regulation of the juridical person, or any other acts used by the religious community in compliance with its rules.

3. The charter shall contain the following information:

a. name of the religious community, which shall be clear and distinguishable from the names of the other religious communities;
b. description of the doctrine or the ideology supported by the community, forms of religious ceremonies and the aim of the community’s activity.
c.  the organizational structure of the Community, the chairs and the officials and the way they are appointed and elected, its legal representatives, the respective duties and authorities;
d. financial resources of the community
e. dissolution of the juridical person
f. territory within which it shall exert its activity

4. 30 days within the submission of request and the accompanying above documents, the Tirana District Court shall issue the order for the registration of the religious community as juridical person in the Register of Religious Communities and Associations.

5. Registration of religious community may be refused if:

 a. the documentation required in this article  is not complete
 b. the doctrine, aims and the organization expressed in the charter or regulation is in contradiction with the Constitution of the Republic of Albania or the laws of the country;
 c. the activity of the respective community violates (jeopardizes) public order, fundamental rights and freedoms of other persons, or disseminates hatred among the existing religious communities.

6. The decision on refusing registration shall be justified and shall be communicated to the respective community within 10 days from the date it was taken.

7. The religious community may resubmit the full registration documentation in case the reasons for its first approval have ceased to exist.

8. The registration refusal decision may be appealed within 15 days from the date it was taken in compliance with the general rules anticipated in the Civil Procedure Code.

Article 28
Registration of religious groups

1. Religious groups shall be registered in the religions’ register at the Tirana District Court.
2. Registration of religious groups requires the submission of the following documents:

a. request for registration
b. charter of the group
c. representatives (founding members)
d. sources of financing 
e. the doctrine to be propagated
f. territory of activity
g. the opinion of the State Institution on Religious Affairs

3. 30 days within the submission of request, the Tirana District Court issues the decision on the registration of the respective religious group in the  respective register.

4. Registration of religious groups may be refused if:

 a. the documentation required in this article  is not complete
 b. the doctrine, aims and the organization expressed in the charter or regulation is in contradiction with the Constitution of the Republic of Albania or the laws of the country;
 c. the activity of the respective group violates public order, fundamental rights and freedoms of other persons, or disseminates hatred among believers.

Article 29
Activity of religious groups

Religious groups may carry out the following activities:
a) establish objects of cult;
b) perform religious rites in compliance with its internal rules;
c) establish chartable centres (orphanages, retirement houses, etc.);
d) carry out any other activities permissible by this law or other laws;
e) carry out secondary activities in the exercise of the freedom of religion.

Article 30
Dissolution of religious groups

1. Religious groups may be resolved when:
 a. the registration time expires
 b. they submit a request to be registered as religious communities in compliance with the procedures anticipated in this law.

2. Religious groups may be deregistered as such if they violate the constitution and the internal laws or they do not perform the activities for which they have been registered. The request on the deregistration of a religious group is submitted by the prosecution the district where the respective groups carries out its activity.

3. Deregistration of the group is done by the court as anticipated in article 36 of this law.

Article 31
Registration of religious groups as religious communities


1. Any religious group is entitled to ask registration as a religious community (obtaining the status of religious community) in the meaning of this law, in case it meets the following criteria:

a. performs religious activity as a religious group within the territory of the Republic of Albania;
b. its religious activity is considerably widespread in terms of territory and in terms of supporters of its doctrine;
c. its activity has constantly been in compliance with the Constitution and the laws in force.

2. After submitting the request and the respective documents to apply for the religious community status, the State Institution for Religious Affairs verifies whether the religious group meets the above criteria and recommends the Council of Minister to conclude an agreement with the respective entity.

3. In case the agreement is refused due to one of the above reasons, the religious group is entitled to appeal to the Tirana District Court.

4. Following the conclusion of the respective agreement, the registration of religious groups as religious communities shall be done pursuant to article 27 of this law.

Article 32
Duration and territory of activity for the juridical persons of religious groups


Juridical persons of religious groups may perform their activity for an unlimited period of time in part or all over the territory of the Republic of Albania according to the choice of the community itself. 

Article 33
The internal organization of the religious group

1. In relations with other secular and religious bodies, institutions and organizations, national or international, the believers of the religious community are represented by bodies, functionaries and officials, as established, assigned or elected in accordance with their rules.
2. The religious group has the right to establish its bodies; assign is functionaries and leaders independently and in accordance with the provisions stipulated in its respective act.   
3. The officials of the community are assigned according to the procedures and criteria stipulated in the group's charter.
4. Prior to the public declaration of the assigned official, and prior to changes to its management structures, the religious group notifies the Council of Ministers.
5. Functionaries, leaders and bodies of religious groups are guaranteed full freedom to conduct their religious, organizational and administrative activity, in accordance with the acts of the community, unless this activity is in violation of constitutional and legal provisions, or of the interests of third parties.        
    
Article 34
Relations with foreign religious organizations

1. The religious organization has the right to benefit financial and/or material support by foreign entities or individuals, unless when this support is in violation of the applicable legislation.
2. The declaration of the income of religious organizations is regulated by this law, as well as by other special acts.

Article 35
Dissolution of religious organizations

1. The religious organizations may dissolve or reorganize according to the procedure stipulated in its charter or regulation.
2. The Council of Ministers, through the State Institution for Religious Affairs, is notified within 10 days of the dissolution or reorganization of the religious community.
3. If a deregistered religious organization seeks to register again, it must fulfil the conditions defined in this law regarding the first registration of religious communities.  
 
Article 36
Termination (deregistration) of religious organizations

1. If a religious organization violates the Constitution and the domestic laws of the Albanian State, the competent court may decide to deregister this organization from the Register of Religious Communities.
2. The right to ask for the deregistration of a religious organization pertains to the Prosecutor General who, on his/her own or upon the request of the Council of Ministers, may initiate the process of the deregistration of the religious organization.   
3. The court decides on the deregistration and termination of the activities of the religious organizations if the latter:
a) professes ideas of religious intolerance or hate;
b) acts in violation with the laws or instructs others to act in violation of the laws;
c) violates its own charter or rules on the basis of which is registered as a religious organization;
d) conducts activities that violate national security, peace and public order, and the health and the moral of other persons;
e) The court decision may be appealed according to the Criminal Procedure Code rules.
4. With the deregistration of the religious organization, its property and other rights go to the persons defined the charter. If these persons are not defined, then they go to the state. Working relations of the staff employed by the deregistered religious organization are regulated in accordance with the Labour Code of the Republic of Albania.
       
CHAPTER VI
FINANCIAL STATUS

Article 37
Independent administration of assets

 The state shall observe the independence of the religious organization in the administration of its assets, in accordance with its principles, rules, traditions (canons) and charter. 

Article 38
Legal and fiscal status

 Religious organizations shall enjoy all rights, including fiscal and customs facilities, and shall be subject to all the obligations stipulated in the law on non-for-profit organizations.  

Article 39
Licensing

1. Legal persons of religious organizations, besides their religious activity,  do also have the right to conduct other activities in the social field, education and health, in accordance with the Albanian legislation on the respective licenses or permits.
2. The institutions that are structured and established by religious organizations may conduct any type of social, educational, health and economic activity, in accordance with the rules of the organization and with the applicable law that regulates, inter alia, the granting of the respective licenses and permits.    
     
Article 40
Registration in tax bodies

 After the completion of the registration procedures in the court, legal persons of religious organizations shall register in the tax bodies, in accordance with the respective law.

Article 41
State financial assistance

1. Religious communities and groups benefit financial and/or material assistance by the state, in accordance with the respective legal and sub-legal acts that will be approved for this purpose.
2. Opinion: Should there be a tax contribution for religion?      

Article 42
Financial support to traditional religious communities

1. The state shall support 4 traditional religious communities – the Muslim Community of Albania, the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania, the Catholic Church in Albania and the Bektashi World Centre – for harms they have suffered under the past regime.
2. The state may, in special occasions, fund the construction of religious objects.
3. The state may provide funds for the reestablishment and restoration of pilgrimage centres, as well as of their supporting infrastructure. The State Institution for Religious Affairs, together with local institutions, takes measures for the performance of these activities, upon a request made by them.        
4. The state shall fund up to 30% of all the salaries of the clergy who work and practice in religious objects, as well as up to 50% of the salaries of the civil administration staff who work at the headquarters of a religious community, according to the payroll submitted to the Institute of Social Security.
5. The state shall fund up to 60% of the salaries of the teaching personnel in high and higher education, according to the payroll submitted to the Institute of Social Security.   

Article 43
Conflict resolution

1. In cases of unresolved and negotiable disputes, which regard religious organizations in general or legal persons created by them in particular, a joint ad hoc commission shall be established with representatives of the state and of the religious organizations, with the scope of finding an acceptable solution through a Decision of the Council of Ministers, following consultations with the religious organizations.
2. If the case is not solved according to paragraph 1 of this Article, then the case shall be referred to the Tirana Judicial District Court.  
 

TRANSITORY PROVISIONS

Article 44
Restitution and compensation of property to religious communities

 The Albanian State pledges to return, or compensate where physical restitution is not possible, the properties of religious communities, in accordance with the Albanian legislation, and shall assist with registration of the properties on behalf of the respective communities in the competent state bodies.

Article 45
The effect of the law

1. This law is also applicable to religious organizations that are currently conducting their activity within the territory of the Republic of Albania.
2. The religious organizations conducting activity shall be recognized as such also by this law, if with the entry into force of this law they submit the additional documentation to be registered in the respective register, according to the above provisions.
3. The Judicial District Court examines the requests of these subjects with priority, deciding on their final formal recognition and registration.   
4. If the religious group or community is recognized as a legal person before this law's entry into force, it is automatically re-recognized as a legal person after the judge's decision to accept the submission of additional documents.    
 
Article 46
Implementation of the law

The relevant Ministries are responsible for the implementation of this law.

Article 47
Entry into force

This law enters into force 15 days after its publication in the Official Journal.