A religious community in Lithuania shall be a group of individuals seeking to implement the objectives of the same religion. It may be a local subdivision of a respective religious association. Religious associations shall be unions of churches and equivalent religious organizations, namely, communities, seeking to implement the objectives of the same religion. An association shall be comprised of at least two religious communities under common leadership.

The State shall recognize nine traditional religious communities and associations existing in Lithuania: Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Evangelical Lutheran, Evangelical Reformed, Russian Orthodox, Old Believer, Judaist, Sunni Muslim and Karaite. Other (non-traditional) religious associations may be granted state recognition as being a part of Lithuania’s historical, spiritual and social heritage if they are backed by society and instruction and rites thereof are not contrary to laws and morality.

Religious communities may be registered provided they unite at 15 members, namely adult citizens of the Republic of Lithuania. Religious associations may be registered provided they unite at least two religious communities. Religious communities and centers which are part of the structure of a registered religious association shall acquire legal personality upon their recognition by the authorities of the associations and written notification thereof issued to the Ministry of Justice.

Religious communities and associations shall have the right to freely organize based on their hierarchic and institutional structure, and manage their inner life according to their canons, statutes and other norms. Religious communities, associations and centers may hold by the right of ownership houses of prayer, residential houses and other buildings and structures, production, social and charity facilities, as well as other assets necessary for the activities of the religious communities and associations.