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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints v. the United Kingdom, No. 7552/09, ECtHR (Fourth Section), 4 March 2014

Type Judgment
Case number 7552/09


Refusal of full tax exemption of a Mormon temple. Non-violation of art. 14 ECHR, taken in conjunction with art. 9.

Normative references

Art. 9 ECHR
Art. 14 ECHR


1. The obligation under art. 9 ECHR incumbent on the State’s authorities to remain neutral in the exercise of their powers in the religious domain, and the requirement under Article 14 not to discriminate on grounds of religion, requires that if a State sets up a system for granting tax exemptions on religious groups, all religious groups which so wish must have a fair opportunity to apply for this status and the criteria established must be applied in a non-discriminatory manner.

2. In certain circumstances issues concerning the operation of religious buildings, including expenses incurred as a result of the taxation status of such buildings, are capable of having an impact on the exercise of the right of members of religious groups to manifest religious belief.
(In the present case, a full tax exemption was not granted to a Mormon temple, as the latter was not open to the public. The Court does not consider that this measure gave rise to an unequal treatment, in comparison to other groups in similar situations. For these purposes, the specificities of the Mormon cult cannot lead to a different assessment)