The Slovenia Times

EUR 1.4M Allocated for Social Contributions of Priests


As much as EUR 1.34m of the total sum went to the Roman Catholic Church as the biggest religious community, with the Muslim Community following far behind with EUR 22,667.

Also getting funds from the state were the Evangelical-Lutheran Church, the Serb Orthodox Church, the Evangelical Pentecoastal Church, the Seventh-Day Advent Church and the Slovenian Muslim Community.

The state co-funds pension and healthcare contributions of priests on the basis of the law on religious freedom.

When passed in early 2007, the law stipulated that the state paid contributions to the tune of at least 60% of the average monthly salary.

But the share dropped to 48% with the 2012 fiscal consolidation act, an austerity law passed during the recession.

Co-funding pension and healthcare contributions is all the funds the state spends on registered religious communities.

However, more funds are available through various calls for applications.

For instance, some money is available to private schools if they carry out public school curricula.

At the moment, only the Roman Catholic Church has its own schools with certified public school curricula.

As many as seven of a total of 17 private schools in Slovenia are run by the Catholic Church.

This year, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport earmarked EUR 13.7m to co-fund private schools, of which Catholic schools have received EUR 9.3m.

Over 40% of the sum went to St Stanislav Institute on the outskirts of Ljubljana, which runs primary, secondary and music schools.

Acting headmaster of the secondary school there Simon FeĊĦtanj says the state money is used for teacher's pay and material costs.

However, maintenance costs as well as electricity and heating bills are paid by the Church itself.

"In this sense, private secondary schools are cheaper for the state then public schools where the state has to pay all the bills," he told the STA.

Another area for which religious communities can get state funds is renovation of sacral buildings which are classified as cultural heritage.

As many as 60% of all churches in Slovenia or some 1,450 are declared cultural monuments.

This year, religious communities received EUR 387,115 on the basis of a Culture Ministry call for applications for renovation of sacral heritage.


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