Whereby The Law Of Religious Freedom And Worship Is Developed, Recognized In Article 19 Of The Constitution

Original Language Title: Por la cual se desarrolla el Derecho de Libertad Religiosa y de Cultos, reconocido en el artículo 19 de la Constitución Política

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133 OF 1994

(May 23)

Official Journal No. 41.369 of 26 May 1994

"For which the Right of Religious and Cult Freedom is developed, recognized in article 19 of the Political Constitution."





ARTICLE 1o. The State guarantees the fundamental right to religious freedom and cults, recognized in Article 19 of the Political Constitution.

This right will be interpreted in accordance with international human rights treaties ratified by the Republic.

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ARTICLE 2o. No Church or religious confession is nor will it be official or state. However, the state is not atheist, agnostic, or indifferent to the religious sentiments of Colombians.

The Public Power will protect people in their beliefs, as well as churches and religious confessions and facilitate the participation of these and those in the attainment of the common good. Likewise, it will maintain harmonious relations and common understanding with the churches and religious confessions existing in Colombian society.

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ARTICLE 3o. The State recognizes the diversity of religious beliefs, which shall not constitute grounds for inequality or discrimination before the law that annul or restrict the recognition or exercise of the fundamental rights.

All religious confessions and Churches are equally free before the Law.

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ARTICLE 4. The exercise of the rights of religious and religious freedom has as its only limit the protection of the right of others to exercise their public freedoms and rights. This is a fundamental issue, as well as the safeguarding of security, health and public morality, elements of public order, protected by the law in a democratic society.

The right of protection of the rights recognized in this Statutory Law will be exercised in accordance with the current rules.

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ARTICLE 5o. Activities related to the study and experimentation of psychic or parapsychological phenomena; Satanism, practices and practices are not included within the scope of this Law. magical or superstitious or spiritist or other analogous to religion.



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ARTICLE 6o. The religious freedom and cults guaranteed by the Constitution includes, with the consequent legal antonomy and immunity of coercion, among others, the rights of every person:

(a) To profess religious beliefs that he freely chooses or does not profess; to change his confession or to abandon the one he had; to freely manifest his religion or religious beliefs or the absence of them or to refrain from declaring on they;

b) To practice, individually or collectively, in private or in public, acts of prayer and worship; to commemorate their festivities; and not to be disturbed in the exercise of these rights;

(c) To receive a dignified burial and observe the precepts and rites of the religion of the deceased in all matters relating to funeral customs, subject to the wishes expressed by the deceased in life, or in his absence, express his family. For this purpose, the following shall be done:

1. The rites of each of the churches or religious confessions may be held in the cemeteries dependent on the civil authority or property of the individuals.

2. The precepts and rites shall be observed which determine each of the churches or religious confessions with legal personality in the cemeteries that are of their property.

3. The specific destination of places of worship existing in cemeteries dependent on civil or private persons shall be retained, without prejudice to new premises of other cults;

d) To contract and celebrate marriage and establish a family according to their religion and the rules of the corresponding Church or religious confession. For this purpose, religious marriages and their judgments of nullity, dictated by the authorities of the respective Church or religious confession with legal status, will have civil effects, without prejudice to the state competence to regulate them;

e) Not to be forced to practice acts of worship or to receive religious assistance contrary to their personal convictions;

f) To receive religious assistance from your own confession wherever you are and mainly in the public places of medical care, in military barracks and in places of detention;

g) To receive and impart religious teaching and information, either orally, in writing or by any other procedure, to whom you wish to receive it; to receive such teaching and information or to refuse;

h) To choose for themselves and parents for minors or those who are unable under their dependence, within and outside of school, religious and moral education according to their own convictions. For this purpose, the teaching establishments will offer religious and moral education to the students according to the teaching of the religion to which they belong, without prejudice to their right not to be obliged to receive it. The intention not to receive religious and moral teaching may be expressed in the act of registration by the oldest student or the parents or curators of the child or the incapable;

i) Not to be prevented on religious grounds for access to any work or civil activity, to exercise or to hold public office or office. In the case of entry, promotion or stay in chaplaincy or in the teaching of religious and moral education, the certification of the suitability of the Church or confession of religion to attend or teach must be required;

(j) To meet or demonstrate publicly for religious purposes and to associate themselves to develop their religious activities in a community, in accordance with the provisions of this Law and in the general legal order.

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ARTICLE 7o. The right of religious freedom and cults also includes, among others, the following rights of churches and religious confessions:

(a) To establish places of worship or gathering for religious purposes and to be respected for their religious destination and their specific confessional character;

b) To exercise freely his own ministry; to confer religious orders, to designate for pastoral posts; to communicate and to maintain relations, whether on national or foreign territory, with his faithful, with other Churches or confessions religious and with their own organizations;

c) To establish their own hierarchy, to designate their corresponding ministers freely chosen, by them with their particular form of linkage and permanence according to their internal rules;

d) To have and to direct the same institutes of formation and theological studies, in which the candidates to the religious ministry may be freely received that the ecclesiastical authority deems appropriate. The civil recognition of the academic titles issued by these institutes shall be the subject of a convention between the State and the corresponding Church or religious confession or, failing that, of legal regulation;

e) To write, publish, receive, and freely use your books and other publications on religious issues;

f) To announce, communicate and disseminate, in writing, its own creed to everyone, without prejudice to the right recognized in the literal g) of article 6or. and freely manifest the peculiar value of its doctrine for the ordination of society and the orientation of human activity;

g) To carry out educational activities, charitable activities, assistance in order to implement the precepts of moral order from the social point of view of the respective confession.

PARAGRAFO. Municipal Councils may grant religious institutions exemptions from local taxes and contributions on equal terms for all confessions and Churches.

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ARTICLE 8. For the actual and effective implementation of these rights, the authorities will take the necessary measures to ensure the religious assistance offered by the Churches and religious confessions to their members, when they are in public schools, teachers, military, hospital, care, penitentiary and others under their dependency.

This attention may be offered through Capellanias or similar institutions, organized with full autonomy for the respective Church or religious confession.



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ARTICLE 9o. The Ministry of Government recognizes legal status for churches, religious denominations and denominations, their federations and, confederations and associations of ministers, who request it. Likewise, the Public Registry of religious entities will operate in the Ministry.

The petition must be accompanied by authentic documents in which the foundation or establishment in Colombia is established, as well as its name and other identification data, the statutes where its religious purposes are indicated, operation, organisation scheme and representative bodies with the expression of their powers and their requirements for their valid designation.

PARAGRAFO. Churches, confessions and religious denominations, their federations and confederations, may retain or acquire legal status in private law in accordance with the general provisions of civil law.

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ARTICLE 10. The Ministry of Government shall, of its own motion, practice the registration in the public register of religious entities when it grants legal status to a Church or religious confession, to its federations or confederations.

Legal status will be recognized when the required requirements are duly accredited and some of the provisions of this Law are not infringed.

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ARTICLE 11. The State continues to recognize the legal status of ecclesiastical public law to the Catholic Church and to the entities erected or to be erized in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1. Article IV of the Concordat, approved by Law 20 of 1974.

For the registration of these in the Public Registry of Religious Entities the Ministry of Government will be notified of the respective decree of erection or canonical approval.

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ARTICLE 12. The Ministry of Government is responsible for the administrative competence regarding the granting of legal status, the registration in the public register of religious entities, as well as the negotiation and development of the Public Conventions of Internal Law.



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ARTICLE 13. Churches and religious confessions will have, in their religious affairs, full autonomy and freedom and will be able to establish their own rules of organization, internal regime and provisions for their members.

In these rules, as well as in those which regulate the institutions created by those for the realization of their ends, they may include clauses to safeguard their religious identity and their own character, as well as the due respect of their beliefs, without prejudice to the rights and freedoms recognised in the Constitution and in particular those of freedom, equality and non-discrimination.

PARAGRAFO. The State recognizes the exclusive competence of the ecclesiastical courts to decide, regarding the validity of religious acts or ceremonies that affect or may affect the civil status of persons.

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ARTICLE 14. Churches and religious confessions with people will have, among other rights, the following:

(a) To create and promote associations, foundations and institutions for the realization of their ends in accordance with the provisions of the legal order;

b) To acquire, dispose and freely manage the movable and immovable property that it deems necessary to carry out its activities; to own the artistic and cultural heritage that they have created, acquired with their resources or is under their legitimate possession, in the form and with the guarantees laid down by the legal system;

c) To request and receive financial or other donations from natural or legal persons and organize collections among their faithful for the worship, support of their ministers and other purposes of their mission;

d) To be guaranteed their rights of honor and rectification when they, their creed or their ministers are injured by slanderous, aggrieved, misrepresented or inaccurate information.

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ARTICLE 15. The State will be able to celebrate with the Churches, Confessions and Religious denominations, their federations and confederations and associations of ministers, who enjoy their personal and offer guarantees of duration by their status and number (sic) of members, conventions on religious matters, whether International Treaties or Internal Public Law Conventions, especially to regulate the provisions of Article 6or. in the second paragraph of article 8or. of this Statute, and in Article 1or. of Law 25 of 1992.

The Internal Public Law Conventions will be subject to prior review of the legality of the State Council's Civil Service and Consultation Room and will take effect once they are signed by the President of the Republic.

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ARTICLE 16. The condition of Minister of Cult shall be credited with a document issued by the competent authority of the Church or religious confession with legal personality to which it belongs. The exercise of the ministerial religious function will be guaranteed by the State.



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ARTICLE 17. In all the municipalities of the country there will be a cemetery dependent on the civil authority. The municipal authorities shall take the necessary measures to comply with this precept in localities that lack a civil cemetery, within the year following the date of enactment of this Law.

PARAGRAFO. In the municipalities where there is only one cemetery and this one depends on a Church or religious confession, she will separate a place to give a dignified burial in the same conditions as the cemeteries dependent on the civil authority, until compliance with the provisions of the first part of this article.

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ARTICLE 18. The enrollment of the entities already erected, as set out in Article 12, will be practiced within three (3) years of the current Law.

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ARTICLE 19. This Law governs from the date of its enactment and repeals all provisions that are contrary to it.

The President of the honorable Senate of the Republic,


The Secretary General of the honorable Senate of the Republic,


The President of the honorable House of Representatives,


The Secretary General of the honorable House of Representatives,



Publish and execute.

Dada en Santafe de Bogota, D.C., a 23 May 1994.


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