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Law & Religion: Constitutions

Subjects: Law

Finding the texts of national constitutions

The first two are available to holders of an Oxford SSO

The following are available to anyone with access to the internet

Countries with a written constitution may have a clause defining the Official Religion as for example   Denmark (1953) "The Evangelical Lutheran Church shall be the Established Church of Denmark, and) as such, it shall be supported by the State.", Egypt (2014) "Islam is the religion of the state and Arabic is its official language. The principles of Islamic Sharia are the principle source of legislation."

The above are unofficial translations from Constitute Project : click link for more examples.

Some state constitutions announce the establishment of religious courts, and/or the status of religious law.

Written constitutions may have clauses overtly declaring the Separation of Church and State such as "France shall be an indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic. It shall ensure the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction of origin, race or religion. It shall respect all beliefs. It shall be organised on a decentralized basis." The above is an unofficial translation from Constitute Project: click on link for more examples.

Other constitutions may have clauses ensuring equality regardless of religion and/or equality regardless of creed or belief.

In the US, the First Amendment guarantees religious freedom. Congress is prohibited from either promoting one religion over others or restricting an individual’s religious practices.  The same Amendment also guarantees freedom of expression, assembly, and the right to petition. 

Related Commentary

Subject searches to try in SOLO
Freedom of religion
Religion and law
Constitutional law -- Religious aspects
Church and state
Human rights -- Religious aspects  

United States. Constitution. 1st Amendment

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