Proposed legislation on religious freedom creates controversy
A draft law on religious freedom was presented to Congress at the end of June and has generated a national debate with strong reactions both for and against the proposed new provisions. This bill aims to regulate the exercise of religious freedom, conscience and worship in Dominican Republic, and applies to all citizens and religious groups or cults throughout the country. The draft law makes it mandatory for religious organisations to register with the Ministry of Interior and Police.The bill also prohibits religious ministers from exercising physical violence or moral pressure, attacks and threats in order to achieve certain goals. It further establishes that religion, worship or congregation doctrines cannot promote or incite violence or operate against public order. Sanctions include fines, suspensions and even closure of organisations violating these prohibitions. The National Council of Confraternities of Evangelical Pastors (CONACOPE) and the Federation of Evangelical Pastors of the Cibao region (Feperci) rejected the bill as discriminatory and undemocratic and argued their groups had not been consulted in the process.
Civic Space Developments