Article 9 - Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

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Cases selected for updating the Case-Law Guide.

Kanatli v. Türkiye, no. 18382/15


Conviction for refusing to perform military reserve service on conscientious grounds.

Föderation der Aleviten Gemeinden in Österreich v. Austria, no. 64220/19


Refusal to register the applicant association as a religious community.

Executief van de Moslims van België and Others v. Belgium, nos. 16760/22 and 10 others


Obligation to stun animals prior to their ritual slaughter.
Judgment | Legal Summary

Sardar Babayev v. Azerbaijan, nos. 34015/17 and 26896/18


Conviction of a clergyman for preaching and conducting prayers solely based on ban on the conduct of religious rituals by persons who obtained their education abroad.

Advisory opinion as to whether an individual may be denied authorisation to work as a security guard or officer on account of being close to or belonging to a religious movement [GC], no. P16-2023-001


Denial of authorisation to work as a security guard on account of being close to or belonging to a religious movement.
Advisory Opinion | Legal Summary

Ossewaarde v. Russia, no. 27227/17


Administrative sanction of the applicant for holding Bible meetings at his home without notifying the authorities.
JudgmentLegal Summary

Tonchev and Others v. Bulgaria, no. 56862/15


Information circulated to schools by the municipal authority containing pejorative and hostile remarks about the Evangelical denomination to which the applicant associations and pastors belonged.
Judgment | Legal Summary

Ilyin and Others v. Ukraine, no. 74852/14


Refusal to register a religious community as a legal entity due to name being liable to mislead believers and the general public. 
Judgment | Legal Summary

Aygün v. Belgium, no. 28336/12


Parents prohibited from burying their sons abroad during the criminal investigation into their killing. Applicability and merits.

Loste v. France, no. 59227/12


State’s positive obligations concerning observance of religious neutrality clause by foster family.

Constantin-Lucian Spînu v. Romania, no. 29443/20


Denial of permission for prisoner to attend religious services outside prison during Covid-19 pandemic.
Judgment | Legal Summary

Abdullah Yalçın v. Turkey (No. 2), no. 34417/10


Refusal to allocate room in high-security prison to Muslim prisoner for congregational Friday prayers. Applicability and merits.
Judgment | Legal Summary

Taganrog LRO and Others v. Russia, nos. 32401/10 and 19 others


Forced dissolution of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ religious organisations and others measures.

Teliatnikov v. Lithuania, no. 51914/19


No clear alternative to military service for conscientious objectors.

Anderlecht Christian Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Others v. Belgium, no. 20165/20


Failure to grant congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses exemption from property tax.
Judgment | Legal Summary

Abdi Ibrahim v. Norway [GC], no. 15379/16


Adoption by foster parents with a religious faith different to that of a biological parent (Article 8 in light of Article 9).
Judgment | Legal Summary

Centre of Societies for Krishna Consciousness in Russia and Frolov v. Russia, no. 37477/11


Use of derogatory language and unsubstantiated allegations for describing applicant’s centre’s religious beliefs.
Judgment | Legal Summary

Corley and Others v. Russia, nos. 292/06 and 43490/06


Enforced departures of foreign missionaries connected with their religious work, with the objective of preventing the spreading of their teaching.

De Wilde v. the Netherlands (dec.), no. 9476/19


Applicability: the non-recognition of a movement as a religion at domestic level.
Decision | Legal Summary

Polat v. Austria, no. 12886/16


Post-mortem examination of a new-born, despite parents' objections on religious grounds. Applicability and merits.
Judgment | Legal Summary

Ancient Baltic religious association “Romuva” v. Lithuania, no. 48329/19


Denial of State recognition to a pagan religious association.
Judgment | Legal Summary

Vavřička and Others v. the Czech Republic [GC], nos. 47621/13 and 5 others


Applicability: parent fined and children excluded from preschool for refusal to comply with statutory child vaccination duty.
Judgment | Legal Summary

Neagu v. Romania, no. 21969/15


Obligation for prisoners to furnish documentary proof of religious conversion.
Judgment | Legal Summary

Saran v. Romania, no. 65993/16


Refusal to provide a prisoner meals compatible with the precepts of his religion.
Judgment | Legal Summary 

The Religious Denomination of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Bulgaria v. Bulgaria, no. 5301/11


Measures by municipality and court decisions preventing construction of a house of worship on its own land.

Perovy v. Russia, no. 47429/09


Mere presence of seven-year-old child at one-off short religious ceremony in municipal school, without indoctrination aims.
Judgment | Legal summary

Christian Religious Organization of Jehovah's Witnesses v. Armenia (dec.), no. 73601/14


Refusal to exempt religious organisation from taxation on regular imports of religious material.
Decision | Legal Summary

Mariș v. Romania (dec.), no. 58208/14


Refusal to rectify religion in prison file.
Decision | Legal Summary

Stavropoulos and Others v. Greece, no. 52484/18


Birth certificate revealing parents’ choice not to christen their child.
Judgment | Legal Summary

Erlich and Kastro v. Romania, nos. 23735/16 and 23740/16


Execution of a judgment recognising the right of Jewish prisoners to have kosher meals.
Judgment | Legal Summary

Korostelev v. Russia, no. 29290/10


Muslim prisoner reprimanded for performing acts of worship at night time in breach of prison schedule.
Judgment | Legal Summary

Dyagilev v. Russia, no. 49972/16


Dismissal of request for replacement of compulsory military service with its civilian alternative. Conscientious objection.
Judgment | Legal Summary

Nasirov and Others v. Azerbaijan, no. 58717/10


Measures against members of the Religious Community of Jehovah’s Witnesses for door to-door preaching and distribution of religious literature.

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