The WCER is registered as a public institution in Vilnius, Lithuania (registration number VS99-21).
On this page, we present the WCER’s present by-laws.
Excerpts from the WCER Statute can be read below, or a full version can be downloaded as an MS Word document.
The present WCER statute (excerpts):
The WCER (World Congress of Ethnic Religions) is registered in Lithuania with status as a “Public Institution”. A Public Institution, under Lithuanian law, is a new form of non-government and non-profit organization, approved by law Nr.I -1428 of the Lithuanian Republic, dated 3rd July 1996. Here is a more detailed definition:
2.1. A Public Institution is a non-profit organization, established according to this law, from the funds of the participants or the owner, functioning in the social, cultural, religious or other fields and publicly providing services of such nature to members of society.
2.2. A Non-profit organization is an object, with the rights of a juridical person, established according to this law, whose purpose is not the acquisition of profits. It cannot distribute its profits to the founders, members, owners or participants.
4.1. A “Public Institution” can:
4.1.1. Own accounts in banks
4.1.2. Buy or in any other manner acquire property
4.1.5. Provide and collect charity/contributions
4.1.6. Establish branches/subsidiaries
4.1.10. Establish international ties/contacts
4.1.11. Join other non-profit organization associations, among them international associations, and participate in their activities.
7.5. The following entities have initiative right to change or append regulations:
• “Public Institution” administration,
• a joint “Public Institution” governing body,
• the general “Public Institution” assembly.
Changed and appended regulations must be approved by the general assembly of the “Public Institution”.
11.2. The general assembly of the “Public Institution” is the highest governing body of the institution.
These are excerpts from the WCER-specific bylaws:
2.1. Objectives of the Institution:
•2.1.1 To spread educational knowledge about ethnic cultures and their religions, while propagating mutual trust and tolerance for the peoples of Europe and the entire world.
•2.1.2 Through education, propagation and the organization of support for the appropriate projects, to preserve ethnic cultures and religions, safeguard them from extinction and propagate such ideas.
•2.1.3. To unify people and organizations engaged in ethno-cultural and ethno-religious activities within Lithuania and outside its borders.
•2.1.4. To fight against religious discrimination.
•2.1.5. Undertake other kinds of activities concerning ethnic culture and ethnic religions.
2.2 The objects of the Institution’s activities are first and foremost the ethnic cultures and ethnic religions, especially those, which are in danger of extinction or loss of cultural identity.
•2.2.1. The WCER consists of ethnical and/or traditional and/or native religious groups.
•2.2.2. Ethnic cultures are the complex of many peoples and distinctive and natural cultural traditions. The current conditions of civilization place these cultures in danger of extinction. National ethnic religions face the same danger of extinction. We define “Ethnic religions” as surviving ancient religions, such as Hinduism, or animism of various other cultures, as well as religions in the process of restoration, such as the Icelandic “Asatru”, Latvian “Dievturi”, Lithuanian “Romuva” and others. It has been accepted that the rights of such ethnic and religious groups are a part of human rights as expressed in the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1992.
2.3. There are 2 types of members: Individual Members and Members Groups
•2.3.1. Individual Members: There are no preset restriction on who can be a member, except that they must be of legal age in their own country. Individual members have no voting right and are entitled to the following:
•220.127.116.11. A regular newsletter (paper or file for those with an e-mail account)
•18.104.22.168. Invitations to Congresses and events organized by the WCER.
•22.214.171.124. At the Congress, they have the right to speak, but not to vote.
•126.96.36.199. Individual members can, however, be elected to the Council.
•2.3.2. Member Groups are entitled to:
•188.8.131.52. A regular newsletter, with the right to redistribute to members, either in their own newsletter or in other form.
•184.108.40.206. An invitation to the Annual WCER congress
•220.127.116.11. The right for their representatives to vote and be a candidate to the committee (each member group designates a representative according its own rules and customs).
Member groups that cannot, for practical reasons, send a representative to the Congress, can designate a representative of another group to carry their votes, after notifying the Council in writing.
•2.3.3. Conditions and procedure for membership are defined in the Membership Regulations.
2.4. The Institution accomplishes its goals according to the activity types defined in the Lithuanian Government May 17, 1995 resolution Nr. 696 “For the classification of economic activity types” and the standards of the European Union pertaining to the types of activities governed by codes: 80.4 – Education : Education of adults and others, 73.20 – Research and applied work in the fields of public and humanitarian sciences, 65.1 – Financial solicitation, 22 – Publishing, printing and duplication of recorded databases, 85.32 – Social work, not related to the residence, 91.33 – Activities of non-classified organizations.
•2.4.1. Organizes conferences and seminars (code 91.33), and publishes their re-sults (code 22).
•2.4.2. Organizes funding / contributes to the funding of educational or cultural projects within those countries who support ethnic cultures and religions within their jurisdiction (code 65.1).
•2.4.3. Organizes funding to implement projects approved by the Institution. (code 65.1)
•2.4.4. Through the press and the Internet, informs about ethnic cultures, religions and their problems. (code 22).
•2.4.5. When possible, organizes summer camps for representatives of ethnic religions from various countries (code 91.33).