"Religions in Belgium should be treated equally"

The different types of faiths in Belgium should receive the same status. That's according to four professors, who will forward this advice to the Parliamentary Commission looking into the matter.

Under the professors' proposal, priests and imams would enjoy equal pay and would have to retire at the age of 65. They also counted how many people are attending the different kinds of services. This should be done every 10 years, the professors suggest. The figures could lead to a redistribution of the federal subsidies for the different kinds of religion.

The Parliamentary Commission concerned with the matter is compiling a report, which should be ready by the end of March.

In order to be officially recognised, a philosophy or religion should have at least ten different communities across Belgium and at least 25,000 followers. Apart from the freethinkers, Belgium has six other recognised faiths: Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, the Greek Orthodox faith, Anglicanism, Islam and Judaism.