Belgium: Religions and Prisons in Law

STEPHANIE WATTIER, Louis-Léon Christians

Research output: Contribution in Book/Catalog/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


A major change has occurred in Belgium, as in other European countries. Religion and prison legal practice and literature are decreasingly focused on individual religious freedom (of inmates). Instead, they are orientated towards addressing radicalisation issues and providing some specific tools for “deradicalisation”. Islam, instead of Christianity, has become the main religion to be dealt with in prison administration and correlated case law. However, emphasis is no longer only on the individual, even radicalised, prisoners. A new importance is given to the Muslim chaplains. Their ability to communicate with the (even radicalised) inmates, and to transform them, is becoming of primary importance for the public authorities once again. The (control of the) training of the chaplains has become one of the major issues for the Government. All religious accommodations are now reread against this security background.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBoundaries of Religious Freedom
Subtitle of host publicationRegulating Religion in Diverse Societies
EditorsJulia Martínez-Ariño, Anne-Laure Zwilling
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameBoundaries of Religious Freedom: Regulating Religion in Diverse Societies
ISSN (Print)2214-5281
ISSN (Electronic)2214-529X


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