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Ordinance on Government grants to religious communities, as amended

SFS 1999:974

Promulgated on 25 November 1999.

The Government prescribes the following.

Scope

Section 1

This ordinance contains regulations on government grants pursuant to the Act on Support to Religious Communities (1999:932).

Definitions

Section 2

For the purposes of this ordinance the following definitions apply.
Religious community : a fellowship for religious activities in which the holding of services is included, or a group of cooperating parishes or religious communities (cooperative bodies).
Parish : a fellowship that carries out religious activities at local level, in which the holding of services is included.
Follower : a member or registered participant in activities organised by a religious community or parish.

Religious communities that are entitled to government grants

Section 1

(amended by 2002:728)
(amended by 2005:227)

The following religious communities, cooperative bodies and parishes thereof are entitled to government grants :
1. The Anglican Church in Sweden
2. The Swedish Lutheran Mission
3. The Church of Denmark in Sweden
4. The Estonian Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Sweden
5. The National Evangelical Institute
6. InterAct
7. The Salvation Army
8. The Islamic Cooperation Council
9. The Church of Iceland in Sweden
10. The Jewish Central Council
11. The Latvian Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Sweden
12. The Methodist Church in Sweden
13. The Church of Norway in Sweden
14. The Orthodox and Oriental Churches’ Ecumenical Council
15. The Pentecostal Movement
16. The Roman Catholic Church in Sweden
17. The Seventh-Day Adventists
18. The Swedish Alliance Mission
19. The Baptist Union of Sweden
20. The Swedish Covenant Church
21. The Swedish Buddhist Cooperation Council
22. The Hungarian Protestant Church in Sweden

Section 4

Grants may be given for theological training provided by :
1. The Johannelund School of Theology
2. The Kortebo School - the Swedish Alliance Mission Theological Seminary and Institute of Bible Studies
3. The Methodist Church Nordic Theological Seminary
4. The Seminary in Stockholm’s Catholic Diocese
5. The Stockholm School of Theology
6. The Örebro Theological Seminary

Types of grant

Section 5

Grants to religious communities can be given in the form of :
1. organisation grants,
2. grants for activities,
3. project grants.

Organisation grants

Section 6

Organisation grants are given to religious communities and parishes in order to enable them to pursue active and long-term activities of a religious nature.
Organisation grants may be given to support activities at local and central level.

Section 7

Grants to activities at local level may be allocated to parishes in order to enable them to hold services, give pastoral cure and provide religious instruction and care.

Section 8

Grants to activities at central level may not exceed one-tenth of the total organisation grant allocated to a particular religious community during a financial year.

Section 9

If the religious community has been granted help from a government agency with the setting, debiting, accounting and collection of fees, the annual costs for the help shall be deducted from the organisation grant, proportionate to the number of followers to whom this help applies. The costs for the preparation of this help shall also be deducted from the organisation grant during the first year the religious community receives such help.

Grants to activities

Section 10

Grants to activities may be given for the provision of theological training pursuant to Section 4 of this ordinance.

Section 11

Grants to activities may be given for spiritual cure provided in the health services.

Project grants

Section 12

Project grants may be given to parishes that need support in order to maintain premises for religious activities (grants for premises).
Grants for premises may be given for :
1. acquisition of premises through construction or purchase,
2. alteration or renovation of parish premises,
3. adaptation of parish premises to accommodate the disabled.
Grants for premises may not be given for premises which are already the target of a government grant under the Ordinance on Grants for General Meeting Places (1996:1593).

Section 13

Grants for the acquisition, alteration or renovation of one or several premises for a parish may amount to no more than 30 per cent of the total costs that may be considered reasonable for the required measures, and to SEK one million at the most.

Section 14

Grants for the adaptation of premises to accommodate the disabled may amount to the total costs for the measures, but to no more than SEK 100 000.

Section 15

Project grants may be given to a religious community or parish that primarily serves immigrant followers for three years at the most, in order to develop central or local activities.

Section 16

Project grants may be given to religious communities that lack educational institutions of their own in Sweden for the training and in-service training of functionaries.

Decision-making authority

Section 17

Matters concerning government grants pursuant to this ordinance are reviewed by the Commission for State Grants to Religious Communities.
Applications for government grants shall be addressed to the Commission.

Section 18

The Commission may communicate further instructions on the terms for the allocation of grants pursuant to this ordinance.

Accounting

Section 19

A religious community or parish that has received a grant pursuant to this ordinance shall submit to the Commission for State Grants to Religious Communities its accountancy documents, annual reports and any other information required by the Commission.

Section 20

The Commission may decide not to disburse an already approved grant if it can be assumed that the grant has been approved on the basis of false information.
The Commission may decide that a grant shall be paid back :
1. if it has been approved on the basis of false information,
2. if it has not been used for the purposes for which it was approved, or
3. if the religious community or parish fails to submit such documents or other information referred to in Section 19.

Appeals

Section 21

Decisions by the Commission for State Grants to Religious Communities pursuant to this ordinance may not be appealed against.

This ordinance enters into force on 1 January 2000, when the Ordinance on Government Grants to other Religious Communities besides the Church of Sweden (1989:271) shall cease to apply. The abrogated ordinance shall, however, continue to apply for grants approved thereunder.

(Translation : Swedish Government Offices, Information Department. Update : PRISME – Société, Droit et Religion en Europe.)