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Property and Income

The Holy Monasteries v Greece, 9 December 1984 [ECtHR]

Case no 13092/87

86.   The applicant monasteries complained of violations of their right to freedom of religion (Article 9 of the Convention) (art. 9) and of their right to freedom of association (Article 11 of the Convention) (art. 11) on the ground that Law no. 1700/1987 deprived them of the means necessary for pursuing their religious objectives and preserving the treasures of Christendom.

Under Article 9 (art. 9) they maintained that the impugned provisions of the Law would impede the carrying out of their ascetic mission. Under Article 11 (art. 11) they pointed out that section 3(3) of the Law would prevent an increase in the number of monks and would deter the faithful from making gifts to them.

87.   Like the Government and the Commission, the Court does not accept these assertions. As regards the first complaint, it considers that the provisions held to be contrary to Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (P1-1) in no way concern the objects intended for the celebration of divine worship and consequently do not interfere with the exercise of the right to freedom of religion. The second complaint would seem to be hypothetical.

88.   There is consequently no breach of Articles 9 and 11 (art. 9, art. 11) of the Convention.

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