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U.S. Department of State
Annual Report on International Religious Freedom for 1999

Released by the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
Washington, DC, September 9, 1999


Section I. Freedom of Religion The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government respects this right in practice.

Roman Catholicism is the state religion, and most of the 6,000 citizens adhere to this religion. The Constitution provides the nearly 25,000 noncitizens who live in the principality with the same religious freedom as citizens.

There are five Catholic churches in the principality and a cathedral presided over by an archbishop. The Catholic Mass generally plays a central role in state festivities, such as the annual national day celebration. Protestantism is the next most practiced religion, with two churches in the principality. Most noncitizens also are either Catholics or Protestants, although there are believed to be some Jews, Muslims, or members of other world religions. There are no mosques or synagogues.

No missionaries operate in the principality; proselytizing is strongly discouraged. There is no law against proselytizing; however, any group or association that wants to be active must, under the Civil Code, apply for permission to operate from the Government and religious "sects" routinely are denied such permission.

There was no change in the status of respect for religious freedom during the period covered by this report.

There were no reports of religious detainees or prisoners.

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

Section II. Societal Attitudes

Relations among the various religious communities present in the principality are amicable. Section III. U.S. Government Policy

The U.S. Consulate in Marsailles discusses religious freedom issues with the Government in the overall context of the promotion of human rights.

[End of Document]

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Revised last: 10-09-1999