Morning Star News, 18 March 2021
Until her death last month at the age of 63, Bolivian attorney Ruth Montaño had done perhaps more than any living person to advance the rights of religious minorities in her Andean homeland.
A specialist in constitutional law and permanent legal counsel to the National Association of Evangelicals of Bolivia, the Cochabamba-based lawyer spent more than two decades defending Christian believers and congregations against discrimination and injustice.
Her greatest professional accomplishment was undoubtedly the passage in September 2019 of Religious Liberty Law 1161.
The product of nine years of research, litigation and negotiation with the government of former president Evo Morales, the Religious Liberty Law guarantees the independence of churches and other faith communities from government interference in their internal affairs.
The law prevents secular officials from dictating how non-Roman Catholic churches must organize their activities, choose leaders and manage their finances.
“It recognizes their freedom to preach, to teach the Word and to use mass communications media. Also, it guarantees the freedom to conduct religious education in accordance with their respective worldviews.”