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State Answers to Religious Diversity in Germany and Singapore: History, Philosophy and Strategy

  • Kevin YL Tan and Matthias Roßbach

Abstract

This Article focuses on the extent to which the different legal approaches of Germany and Singapore to religious diversity were shaped by history. It first analyzes the development in Germany and describes four phases of the development of the law on the relationship between church and state. Starting with the consequences of reformation, it shows that—for centuries—the relationship between denominations had been the crucial matter of this body of law. Only later, the law dealt with conflicts between religion and atheism. This Article then presents the fundamental rights approach of the Basic Law and examines it against the backdrop of the historical development and recent challenges. Second, this Article offers a historical account of Singapore’s attempts at regulating and managing religious diversity. It starts with the establishment of a British trading post on the island in 1819 and runs up to the present day. As a result of mass migration in its early years, Singapore was to become, in the twentieth century, one of the most religiously and culturally diverse nations in the world. This Article shows that Singapore has sought to regulate and manage the various religious groups through a combination of legislation and state policy.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Footnotes

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*

Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore.

**

Head of “Coordination of Federal and European Policy and International Affairs”, State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia, Berlin Office; Postdoctoral Adjunct Researcher, Humboldt University Berlin, Faculty of Law.

Footnotes

References

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1 Fachserie A, Bevölkerung und Kultur: Volksound Berufszählung vom 6. Juni 1961, Heft 5, Bevölkerung nach der Religionszugehörigkeit, Statistisches Bundesamt, Stuttgart 21 (1966).

2 Religionszugehörigkeiten in Deutschland 2017, Forschungsgruppe Weltanschauungen in Deutschland (2018), https://fowid.de/meldung/religionszugehoerigkeiten-deutschland-2017.

3 See Anja Stichs, Wie viele Muslime leben in Deutschland? (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, Working Paper 71, 2016). According to estimates of this paper, between 4.4 and 4.7 million Muslims lived in Germany on December 31, 2015.

4 See generally Christian Waldhoff, Die Zukunft des Staatskirchenrechts, in Die Verfassungsordnung Für Religion Und Kirche In Anfechtung Und Bewährung: 42 Essener Gespräche Zum Thema Staat Und Kirche 59 et seq. (Burkhard Kämper & Hans-Werner Thönnes eds., 2008); Hans Michael Heinig, Öffentlich-Rechtliche Religionsgesellschaften 74 (Duncker & Humblot 2003).

5 These phases are taken from Waldhoff, supra note 4.

6 Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde, Recht, Staat, Freiheit 92 et seq. (1991); Harold J Berman, Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition (1983).

7 Heinrich de Wall & Stefan Muckel, Kirchenrecht 23 et seq. (5th ed. 2017); Martin Heckel, Zur Entwicklung des deutschen Staatskirchenrechts von der Reformation bis zur Schwelle der Weimarer Verfassung, in 2 Gesammelte Schriften: Staat, Kirche, Recht, Geschichte 366 (Klaus Schlaich ed., 1989).

8 Heinig, supra note 4, at 74 et seq.

9 Stefan Korioth, Die Entwicklung des Staatskirchenrechts in Deutschland seit der Reformation, in Staatskirchenrecht Oder Religionsverfassungsrecht? 39 et seq. (Hans Michael Heinig & Christian Walter eds., 2007).

10 Horst Dreier, Kanonistik und Konfessionalisierung-Marksteine auf dem Weg zum Staat, 57 JuristenZeitung 1 (2002).

11 See Dietmar Willoweit, Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte 167 et seq. (5th ed. 2005); Axel Gotthard, Der Augsburger Religionsfrieden (2004).

12 Dreier, supra note.

13 Waldhoff, supra note 4, at 61.

14 Waldhoff, supra note 4, at 61.

15 See generally Heiner de Wall & Andreas Gestrich, Constitutional Complexity and Confessional Diversity, in Political and Legal Perspectives: The Dynamics of Religious Reform in Northern Europe 1780–1920 149 (Keith Robbins ed., 2010).

16 Jörg-Detlef Kühne, Die Reichsverfassung Der Paulskirche, 470 et seq. (2nd ed. 1998); Bernd Jeand’Heur & Stefan Korioth, Grundzüge Des Staatskirchenrechts 39 et seq. (2000).

17 Peter Unruh, Religionsverfassungsrecht 37 (2015); Jeand’Heur & Korioth, supra note 16, at 38; Waldhoff, supra note 4, at 60 et seq.

18 Alexander Freiherr von Campenhausen, Staatskirchenrecht 33 (3rd ed. 1996).

19 See de Wall & Gestrich, supra note 15, at 149.

20 Korioth, supra note 9, at 44 et seq.

21 Waldhoff, supra note 4, at 62.

22 See, e.g., Christoph Link, Kirchliche Rechtsgeschichte 147 et seq. (3rd ed. 2017); Reinhold Zippelius, Staat und Kirche 158 et seq. (2nd ed. 2009).

23 Waldhoff, supra note 4, at 62; Martin Heckel, Kontinuität und Wandlung des deutschen Staatskirchenrechts unter den Herausforderungen der Moderne, 44 Zeitschrift Für Evangelisches Kirchenrecht 347 (1999).

24 Waldhoff, supra note 4, at 63, n. 28.

25 See Gerhard Anschütz, Art. 135 WRV, in Die Verfassung Des Deutschen Reichs Vom 11 August 1919 para. 4, n. 2 (1933).

26 Gerhard Anschütz, Die Religionsfreiheit, in 2 Handbuch Des Deutschen Staatsrechts 675, 681 (Gerhard Anschütz & Richard Thoma eds., 1932).

27 Waldhoff, supra note 4, at 63.

28 Horst Dreier, Grundrechtsrepublik Weimar, in Das Wagnis der Demokratie 175, 189 (Horst Dreier & Christian Waldhoff eds., 2018).

29 Id. at 189.

30 Heinig, supra note 4, at 176. See also Stefan Magen, Art 140 GG, in Bundesverfassungsgerichtsgesetz para. 54 (Dieter C. Umbach et al. eds., 2005).

31 Heinig, supra note 4, at 91 et seq.

32 Weimar Const. art. 137 (Ger.).

33 Jeand’Heur & Korioth, supra note 16, at 42; Fritz Stier-Somlo, Politik, 73 (6th ed. 1926).

34 Christoph Gusy, Die Weimarer Reichsverfassung 321 et seq. (1997).

35 See generally Peter Badura, Das Staatskirchenrecht als Gegenstand des Verfassungsrechts, in Handbuch Des Staatskirchenrechts Der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 211, 236 et seq. (Joseph Listl & Dietrich Pirson eds., 1994); Klaus Stern, Das Staatsrecht Der Bundesrepublik Deutschland Band IV/2 1201 et seq. (2011).

36 Article 140 of the Weimar Constitution provides: “The provisions of Articles 136, 137, 138, 139 and 141 of the German Constitution of 11 August 1919 shall be an integral part of this Basic Law.”

37 Martin Hollerbach, Die Kirchen unter dem Grundgesetz, 26 Veröffentlichungen Der Vereinigung Der Deutschen Staatsrechtslehrer 57, 59 (1968); von Campenhausen, supra note, at 49.

38 Korioth, supra note 9, at 40.

39 Roman Herzog, Art. 4 GG, in Maunz/Dürig, GG paras. 3 et seq. (2018).

40 Horst Dreier, Gilt Das Grundgesetz Ewig? 24 et seq. (Carl Friedrich von Siemens Stiftung ed., 2009). For a comparison of the extent of the enforcement of individual rights against the legislature between the Weimar Constitution and the Basic Law, see Horst Dreier, Grundrechtsrepublik Weimar, in Das Wagnis der Demokratie 175, 186 et seq. (Horst Dreier & Christian Waldhoff eds., 2018).

41 Hermann von Mangoldt, 5 Parlamentarischer Rat 63, 71 (Eberhard von Pikart & Wolfram Werner eds., 2010); Peter Badura, Generalprävention und Menschenwürde, 19 Juristenzeitung 337, 341 (1964); Hasso Hofmann, Die Entdeckung Der Menschenrechte 11 (1999).

42 See Bundesverfassungsgericht [BVerfG] [Federal Constitutional Court], Nov. 4, 2009, Entscheidungen des Bundesverfassungsgerichts [BVerfGE] 300, 327 et seq.

43 Matthias Herdegen, Art 1 I GG, in Maunz/Dürig, GG para. 36 (2018).

44 Horst Dreier, Art 1 I GG, in Dreier, GG para. 42 (2013); Wolfram Höfling, Art. 1 I GG, in Sachs, GG para. 51 (2017).

45 Konrad Hesse, Grundzüge Des Verfassungsrechts para. 312 (20th ed. 1999); Dieter Grimm, Multikulturalität und Grundrechte, in Das Recht Des Menschen In Der Welt 135, art. 144 et seq. (Rainer Wahl & Joachim Wieland eds., 2003).

46 See Hesse, supra note 45, at para. 317 et seq.

47 Entwicklung der Religionszugehörigkeiten nach Bundesländern, 1950-2011, Forschungsgruppe Weltanschauungen in Deutschland (July 8, 2014), https://fowid.de/meldung/entwicklung-religionszugehoerigkeiten-nach-bundeslaendern-1950-2011.

48 See Detlef Pollack, Von der Volkskirche zur Minderheitskirche, Zur Entwicklung von Religiosität und Kirchlichkeit in der DDR, in Sozialgeschichte der DDR 271 (Hartmut Kaelble et al. eds., 1994).

49 Religionszugehörigkeiten in Deutschland 2017, Forschungsgruppe Weltanschauungen in Deutschland (Oct. 8, 2018), https://fowid.de/meldung/religionszugehoerigkeiten-deutschland-2017.

50 The wording of the “Bayerische Volksschulordnung” (Bavarian school regulations) in Section 13, paragraph 1 BayVSO at that time was as follows: “The school supports the parents with the religious education of the children. School prayer, school worship service and school devotion are possibilities of this support. In each classroom a cross is to be attached. Teachers and pupils are obliged to respect the religious feelings of all.”

51 Bundesverfassungsgericht [BVerfG] [Federal Constitutional Court], May 16, 1995, 93 Entscheidungen des Bundesverfassungsgerichts [BVerfGE], 1 et seq.

52 Id. at 15 et seq.

53 See Christian Waldhoff, Kreuz als Rechtsproblem, 2 Kirche Und Recht 153, 158 et seq. (2011).

54 Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfGE 93, at 21.

55 See Stefan Huster, Die Ethische Neutralität Des Staates 129 et seq. (2002).

56 Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfGE 93, at 18.

57 See Dieter Grimm, Ich Bin Ein Freund Der Verfassung 145 et seq. (Oliver Lepsius et al. eds, 2017).

58 But see Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfGE 93, at 19. See also Waldhoff, supra note 4, at 160 et seq.

59 Bundesverfassungsgericht [BVerfG] [Federal Constitutional Court], Jan. 27, 2015, 138 Entscheidungen des Bundesverfassungsgerichts [BVerfGE], 296. See generally Diana Zacharias, Schutz vor religiösen Symbolen durch Art 4 GG? Ein Beitrag zu den negativen religiösen Freiheitsrechten, in Kirche Und Religion Im Sozialen Rechtsstaat 987 (2003).

60 1 BvR 471/10, supra note 59, at 328 et seq.

61 1 BvR 471/10, supra note 59, at 339 et seq.

62 1 BvR 471/10, supra note 59, at 334 et seq.

63 1 BvR 471/10, supra note 59, at 341.

64 Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde, Das Grundrecht der Gewissensfreiheit 61 et seq. (1970); Niklas Luhmann, Die Gewissensfreiheit und das Gewissen, 90 Archiv Des Öffentlichen Rechts 257, 274 et seq. (1965).

65 Saw Swee Hock, The Population of Singapore 6 (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies 3rd ed. 2012) [hereinafter “Saw”].

66 Id. at 8–9.

67 Thomas Braddell, Statistics of British Possessions in the Straits of Malacca (Pinang Gazette Printing Office 1861).

68 Saw Swee Hock, Population Trends in Singapore, 1819–1967, 10 J. Se. Asian Hist. 36, 38 (1969).

69 Saw, supra note 65, at 12.

70 Saw, supra note 65, at 29.

71 Martin Seymour Lipset, Political Man: The Social Bases for Politics 89 (Doubleday 1960).

72 Treaty of Friendship and Alliance art. 7, Feb. 6, 1819, reprinted in Roland St. John Braddell, The Law of the Straits Settlements: A Commentary 146 (Kelly & Walsh 1915).

73 Memorandum by Sir Stamford Raffles, cl. 6 (1823), reprinted in Roland St. John Braddell, The Law of the Straits Settlements: A Commentary 152 (Kelly & Walsh 1915).

74 Arrangements Made for the Government of Singapore arts. 4–5, June 1819, reprinted in Roland St. John Braddell, The Law of the Straits Settlements: A Commentary 149 (Kelly & Walsh 1915).

75 Letters Patent Establishing the Court of Judicature at Prince of Wales’ Island, Singapore and Malacca in the East Indies (Mission Press, 1827).

76 Id.

77 Id.

78 Id.

79 Id.

80 See generally M.B. Hooker, English Law in Sumatra, Java, the Straits Settlements, Malay States, Sarawak, North Borneo and Brunei, in Laws of South East Asia, Vol II: European Laws in South-East Asia 299 (M.B. Hooker ed., 1988).

81 See Courtney Kenny, The Evolution of the Law of Blasphemy, 1 Cambridge L. J. 127 (1922).

82 See Rex v. Taylor, 1 Vent. 293 (1676).

83 Criminal Libel Act 1819, 3 & 4 Geo. c. 12.

84 Singapore Penal Code § 296.

85 Singapore Penal Code § 297.

86 Straits Settlements, Mahomedan Marriage Ordinance V of 1880 (Sing.).

87 Straits Settlements, Mohammedan and Hindu Endowments Ordinance XVII of 1905 (Sing.).

88 See R.W.E. Harper & Harry Miller, Singapore Mutiny (1984).

89 Moslem Advisory Board, Malaya Tribune, June 21, 1915, at 8.

90 Id.

91 Muslim Advisory Board Meets, Straits Times, Oct. 5, 1947, at 3.

92 Mohammedan or Muslim? What is the Correct Name?, Malaya Tribune, Mar. 25, 1933, at 18. See alsoMuslim” Not “Mohammedan,” Straits Times, Nov. 25, 1946, at 3.

93 Blythe at Muslim Party, Straits Times, Dec. 29, 1951, at 7.

94 Muslim Law Court Plan for the Colony, Straits Times, Jan. 14, 1952, at 7; Muslim Court Plan, Singapore Free Press, July 14, 1952, at 5.

95 Muslims Form Committee, Singapore Free Press, Jan. 26, 1948, at 5; Central Body for Muslims, Straits Times, Feb. 24, 1948, at 8.

96 Four Muslim Groups Get Together, Straits Times, Oct. 17, 1960, at 5.

97 Sing. Const. Preamble.

98 See Report of the Constitutional Commission (Singapore Government Printers 1966).

99 Id. at para. 46.

100 Sing. Const. art. 76.

101 Id. at art. 77.

102 Maintenance of Religious Harmony, Cmd 21 of 1989 (Singapore: Singapore National Printers, 1989).

103 Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act, Chapter 167A, § 8 (Sing.).

104 Id. at §§ 11–12.

105 Grundgesetz [Basic Law] art. 1, para. 1 (“Human dignity shall be inviolable. To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all state authority.”); Bundesverfassungsgericht [BVerfG] [Federal Constitutional Court], Aug. 17, 1956, Entscheidungen des Bundesverfassungsgerichts [BVerfGE] 85, 204 (“In liberal democracy, human dignity is the highest value.”).

106 Bundesverfassungsgericht [BVerfG] [Federal Constitutional Court] Dec. 20, 1960, Entscheidungen des Bundesverfassungsgerichts [BVerfGE] 45, 53; Bundesverfassungsgericht [BVerfG] [Federal Constitutional Court] Oct. 19, 1971, Entscheidungen des Bundesverfassungsgerichts [BVerfGE] 98, 106; Bundesverfassungsgericht [BVerfG] [Federal Constitutional Court] April 11, 1972, Entscheidungen des Bundesverfassungsgerichts [BVerfGE] 23, 28.

107 Bundesverfassungsgericht [BVerfG] [Federal Constitutional Court] Oct. 20, 1992, Entscheidungen des Bundesverfassungsgerichts [BVerfGE] 207, 228; Bundesverfassungsgericht [BVerfG] [Federal Constitutional Court] Feb. 5, 2004, Entscheidungen des Bundesverfassungsgerichts [BVerfGE] 133, 149; Bundesverfassungsgericht [BVerfG] [Federal Constitutional Court] Feb. 15, 2006, Entscheidungen des Bundesverfassungsgerichts [BVerfGE] 118, 153; Günther Dürig, Der Grundrechtssatz von der Menschenwürde, 81 Archiv Des Öffentlichen Rechts 117, 127 (1956).

108 See Thio Li-Ann, Irreducible Plurality, Indivisible Unity: Singapore Relational Constitutionalism and Cultivating Harmony Through Constructing a Constitutional Civil Religion, 20 German L. J. XX (2019).

109 See Bosch & Schittenheim, § 166 StGB, in Schönke/Schröder, StGB (Strafgesetzbuch), note 9 (2019); OLG Celle, Neue Juristische Wochenschrift 1275 (1986).

110 See Bosch & Schittenheim, supra note 109, note 12 (2019).

111 OLG Celle, supra note 109, at 1275–76.

112 See generally Thorsten Kingreen & Ralf Poscher, Grundrechte—Staatsrecht II paras. 330 et seq. (C.F. Müller, 34th ed. 2018).

113 See Hesse, supra note 45, at para. 72.

114 Bundesverfassungsgericht [BVerfG] [Federal Constitutional Court] Jan. 27, 2015, 138 Entscheidungen des Bundesverfassungsgerichts [BVerfGE] 296, 328 et seq.

115 Böckenförde, supra note 64, at 61 et seq.; Niklas Luhmann, Die Gewissensfreiheit und das Gewissen, 90 Archiv Des Öffentlichen Rechts 257, 274 (1965).

* Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore.

** Head of “Coordination of Federal and European Policy and International Affairs”, State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia, Berlin Office; Postdoctoral Adjunct Researcher, Humboldt University Berlin, Faculty of Law.

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State Answers to Religious Diversity in Germany and Singapore: History, Philosophy and Strategy

  • Kevin YL Tan and Matthias Roßbach

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