STUDY ASSESSED CHANGES IN RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND EQUALITY
DETAILS OF THE SURVEY WERE PRESENTED BY THE RESEARCHER RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PROJECT, JORGE DEL PICÓ, BEFORE AUTHORITIES AND REPRESENTATIVES FROM DIFFERENT FAITHS.
December 30, 2016
Minority religious entities called it a milestone and a turning point in the treatment that the State provides to them. They talked about the impact Bill 19,638 had on Chilean Society, better known as the Law of Cults, which entered into force in Chile in 1999.
As can it be seen from the results of the survey carried out by the professor from the Department of Law and Social Sciences of the UTALCA, Jorge del Picó, which was carried out in the framework of the "Evolution of the Legal System of Recognition of the Religious Phenomenon in Chile: 2000-2013" Fondecyt Project, led by the academic.
The details of the survey, which was conducted by the UTALCA’s Center for Citizen Opinion, were presented by the researcher to a group of authorities and representatives of different confessions, in a technical working meeting held at the Graduate School of Santiago.
"The study assesses the effectiveness of the legal regulations governing in Chile the religious entities, having as its qualitative horizon checker of its effectiveness the settlement of the principles of equality and religious freedom. In a projection of greater scope, it contributes to the multidisciplinary analysis of the way in which the State has recognized the relevance of religion in Chilean society, after the adoption of the Law on cults of 1999," explained the researcher.
After knowing the results, which will be delivered to the highest authorities of the Ministries of Interior and Justice, the director of the Office of Religious Affairs (Onar) of the Ministry General Secretariat of the Presidency, Humberto Lagos highlighted that this is the first study that is carried out in the country on the matter.
"I want to congratulate this initiative and research, for the work they have done especially to build samples, and because it is the first research carried out that I know of - in all the traditions associated with the religious fact," he said.
The authority stressed that this analysis will not only serve as the basis for many others, but, in addition, it is done at a time when new adjustments are being evaluated in that body of law.
“The issues which one observes, the reactions, are extremely interesting, particularly when we are concerned -commissioned directly by the President of the Republic- to improve Bill 19,638, which has been going on for 16 years, and there have been some situations that have to do with issues here are reveled as very important," he noted.
Among the results of the survey, Professor Del Picó mentioned that "Nine out of every ten entities with legal personality under private law mutated their legal nature to juridical persons governed by public law, taking advantage of the norms of the law."
Another aspect highlighted was that almost 60% of the religious entities were legally organized after the approval of that body of law.
"Equally important was that the 83.1% mentioned the law framed in the Constitution as that which has the most and relevant application in their entity, which gives an account of the importance of the Law on Cults as a legal instrument used to constitute legal personality with religious purposes, displacing ostensibly the importance which once had the DS N°110," he noted.
The representative of the Extended Table of Evangelical Entities, Bishop Emiliano Soto, appreciated the development of the study.
"This important instrument is very relevant at a time when it is taking place a debate on the new Law on Cults. To serve as a help element, so congratulations for this important work," he said.
Meanwhile, Thiago Mansur, from the Baha'i community, said the research "helps a lot to establish on a little more objective and concrete basis the facts of how we have been organizing, how we have been responding to these instruments that the State provides us."
For his part, Bishop Francisco Rivera Mardones said the project allows making a deep reflection on the subject. "The importance of this survey and of the work done is this debate that is taking place with this technical basis and which I believe is the beginning, this is not finished," he said.
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