A Weltanschauung community is an association of people for the purpose of jointly maintaining a worldview .
Legal situation in Germany
The Weimar Constitution , whose Articles 136, 137, 138, 139 and 141 have taken over the German Basic Law in accordance with Article 140 , calls such a community an “association for the common cultivation of a worldview”.
According to German constitutional law, a distinction is made between ideological communities on the one hand and religious communities (religious societies) on the other.
Weltanschauung communities are therefore communities that have made it their business to maintain a non-religious worldview. The Humanist Association of Germany (HVD) is recognized as such . But the organizations gathered in the umbrella association of free ideological communities also see themselves as ideological communities; In addition, the Statistical Yearbook of the Berlin-Brandenburg Statistical Office classifies the Unitarian Church as a ideological community.
Under certain conditions, a belief community in Germany can receive the status of a corporation under public law . Have this z. B. several regional associations in the Humanist Association of Germany and also the Federation for Freedom of Spirit Bavaria .
An ideological community is considered to be "an association of people that has a minimum of internal organizational structure, is designed to guarantee seriousness in the long term and is supported by an outwardly manifesting common and comprehensive ideological consensus of the members and this consensus - insofar as it concerns the Community as such goes - it is externally attested ”.
Legal situation in Austria
In Austria , ideological communities are not recognized as corporations under public law, as provided for religious communities. Weltanschauung communities must constitute themselves as associations . Rights and funding are therefore not the same as for religions.
On December 30, 2019, the " Atheistic Religious Society in Austria " (ARG) submitted an application for registration as a "religious denominational community"; the processing of this application has not yet been completed. If the ARG's application were granted, this would mean that the authorities would interpret the term religion in Austrian law to include communities such as the ARG, which, according to German terminology, are ideological communities. If the other requirements are met, the ARG could later acquire the status of a corporation under public law.
Legal situation in other countries
The Belgian will Constitution provides since 1993 "by law recognized organizations" in front of "the moral assistance according to a non-denominational belief offer" (Art. 181 § 2) and their officers, therefore, as the clergy of the recognized religious communities ( "cults") paid by the state . On this basis, the free spirit community was legally recognized.
In Norway , belief communities (" livssynssamfunn ", literally translated as " belief societies ") can receive the same state funding as religious communities; Such subsidized ideological communities can then, like religious communities, acquire the right to marry with civil effect, which the " Human-Etisk Forbund " has made use of in particular .
- Reinhard Hempelmann: Weltanschauung. Evangelical Central Office for Worldview Issues (EZW), December 2008 .
- Frieder Otto Wolf : "Weltanschauungspflege" in the HVD - social and cultural theoretical aspects. (pdf, 45 kB) In: humanismus aktuell - magazine for culture and worldview. February 16, 2011 .
- Statistical Yearbook for Berlin 2012. Retrieved on May 7, 2013. (PDF; 583 kB)
- Christine Mertesdorf: Weltanschauungsgemeinschaften: A constitutional consideration with representation of individual communities. Writings on state church law. Peter Lang - Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften, Pieterlen (Switzerland) 2007, p. 243.
- ORF.at: Atheists applied for a denominational community .
- Text on the website of the Belgian Senate .
- Lov om tilskott til livssynssamfunn .
- § 12 Ekteskapsloven .