The 1905 law made it possible for the religious associations “to take care of their expenses, maintenance and public exercise of their religion” so they could perform all the missions previously performed only by the four religions recognized by the government constituted under the law of April 8, 1802 (The Catholic, the Lutheran and the Reformed Churches and the Jewish Synagogue).
An independent legal entity was needed indeed in order for these religious associations to acquire a property and buildings to be made available for public worship and with respect the public exercise of worship only. This included also the exercise of worship such as the maintenance of the places of worship, the receiving of donations, and the remuneration and the training of ministers.
These religious associations are sole responsible for the theological education of their ministers and for the content of their theological training which reflect their belief system. (association cultuelle 1905)
Catholicism refused to apply the law in 1905 (It would create later the diocesan associations.) Judaism retained its past structures with Israelite consistories. The Protestant churches thus form the vast majority of religious associations, the associative model presenting the obvious parallels with their traditional presbyterial system of organization.
The being and mission of these churches are not yet exhausted in these associations: they had to establish, among themselves or together with other associations only 1901 law that allows them to exercise including self-help and Mission.
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