2004 BYU L. Rev. 607 (2004)
Church-State Relations and the Legal Status of Religious Communities in Solvenia

handle is hein.journals/byulr2004 and id is 623 raw text is: Church-State Relations and the Legal Status of
Religious Communities in Slovenia
Dr. Lovro Sturm*
I. INTRODUCTION
Although religious freedom in the Republic of Slovenia is
protected under the Constitution of 1991, the doctrines defining the
contours of the church-state relationship are still developing. The
legislature and courts have taken various approaches in defining this
relationship-at times they apply principles of strict government
neutrality, and at other times, they provide more room for church-
state cooperation in achieving common social goals. This Article
provides a survey of religious freedom in Slovenia and emphasizes
the potential for church-state cooperation. Beginning with a brief
history of the church-state relationship in Slovenia, this Article
focuses on the current constitutional and statutory provisions
affecting religious communities and reviews modern trends in
church-state cooperation in Slovenia. Since its emergence from the
oppressive Communist era, Slovenian law has tended to rely on
concepts of strict neutrality in defining the church-state relationship.
However, as Slovenia continues to redefine its position in the area of
religious freedom, it should adopt the more modern approach of
elevating religious freedom over mere toleration by allowing the
State  to   maintain  a   cooperative   relationship  with  religious
communities that recognizes the beneficial social function that
religions fulfill.
II. HISTORICAL AND SOCIOLOGICAL OVERVIEW
The Roman Catholic Church has traditionally occupied a special
position in Slovenia. Based on its long-standing influence in the
region and the number of its adherents, Catholicism may legitimately
* Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ljubljana, and former member of the
Slovenian Constitutional Court (Justice 1990-98, Chief Justice 1997-98).

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