SPAIN, March 18, 2024 (El Faro Ceuta, google translated from Spanish): The Hindu priest from Ceuta, Juan Carlos Ramchandani (Pandit Krishna Kripa Dasa), has participated in the “International Congress on the Legal Status of Religious Minorities without a Cooperation Agreement” in Spain organized by the Public University of Navarra (UPNA), the Pluralism and Coexistence Foundation and the Ministry of Science and Innovation of the Government of Spain. This meeting was aligned with the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals: quality education, reduction of inequalities and peace, justice and solid institutions. The inclusion of religious diversity is one of the great challenges in our society, in which strong social prejudices still persist, and where significant legislative discrimination underlies. In order to analyze the main challenges in this field, academic experts from Spain, France, Italy, Poland, the United Kingdom and Romania, specialized in the study of religious freedom and conscience, have come together in this Congress. In addition to representatives of faiths without agreements with the government: Buddhism, Bahai faith, Church of Latter-day Saints, Jehovah’s Witnesses, there are also representatives of faiths without “deeply rooted” status: Hinduism, Scientology and Taoism.

Ramchandani attended as speaker and president of the Hindu Federation of Spain and vice president of the Hindu Forum of Europe. His presentation titled “Hinduism in Spain, an Unusual Status” was part the section, “The inclusion of Confessions merely listed in the Registry.”. Ramchandani spoke about the unusual situation of Hinduism, the oldest form of religion in humanity that is still practiced in great numbers, in Spain, where it has a documented presence for 150 years and with approximately 75,000 members of the faith spread throughout the nation, but which lacks the deeply rooted status known as Notorio Arraigo (well-known roots) and therefore lacks official recognition with the privileges and duties that the government of Spain grants to the religious faiths that do have it. “Therefore we find ourselves in a precarious administrative situation in issues as important as the recognition of marriage through the Hindu rite, the exemption from paying property tax for places of worship, access to subsidies, ease of permits to build temples, regulation of ministers of worship and a long list of shortcomings,” says Ramchandani.

HPI adds: “While any religious group may request notorio arraigo (“well-known roots) status, the requirements are set by Royal Decree 593 of July 3rd 2015, regulating the procedure and requisites to be considered a confession of notorio arraigo. Actual bilateral cooperation agreements can only be created through legislative enactments.

The LDS Church, Islam, Judaism, Protestantism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Buddhism and the Orthodox Church have notorio arraigo status. Of these groups, only the Protestant, Jewish and Islamic communities have bilateral agreements with the government. Although the government has granted equal legal status to Judaism, Islam and Protestantism, it only provides financial support to the Catholic Church.

from, International Center for Law and Religion Studies.

More at source.