Thursday, June 7, 2012

Religion Provisions of the Constitution of the Central African Republic (2004)

One of my current research projects involves analysis of the religion provisions of various constitutions enacted since the year 2000. From time to time on this blog, I'll post extracts of those provisions arranged according to categories such as "Religious Freedom" (guarantee of individual rights), "Established Religion" (joining religion and government), "Establishment Clause" (separating religion and government), "Ceremonial Deism" (symbolic references to religion that have little or no legal effect), "Equal Protection of Religion" (non-discrimination guarantees), "Preamble", "Religious Education", and "Religious Limitations".


Today's selection comes from the 2004 Constitution of the Central African Republic.  It contains standard religious freedom and equal protection of religion clauses, a statement that the nation shall be secular, and an interesting provision limiting the formation of political parties to those that respect secularism.  Rough translations from the French are mine.
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Equal Protection of Religion

Art. 5 :Tous les êtres humains sont égaux devant la loi sans distinction de race, d’origine ethnique, de région, de sexe, de religion, d’appartenance politique et de position sociale.  [Art.5:  Every human being is equal before the law without distinction on race, ethnic origin, region, sex, religion, political affiliation, and social position.]

Religious Freedom

Art. 8 :La liberté de conscience, de réunion, le libre exercice des cultes sont garantis à tous dans les conditions fixées par la loi.  [Art.8:  Liberty of conscience, assembly, and free exercise of religion are all guaranteed under conditions fixed by law.]

Establishment Clause

Art. 18:  La République Centrafricaine est un Etat de droit, souverain, indivisible, laïc et démocratique. [Art. 18:  The Central African Republic adheres to the rule of law and is sovereign, indivisible, secular, and democratic.]

 Miscellaneous

Art. 20:  Les partis ou groupements politiques . . . sont tenus de respecter le principe de la démocratie, de l’unité et de la souveraineté nationale, des Droits de l’Homme, de la laïcité et la forme républicaine de l’Etat, conformément aux lois et règlements en vigueur. [Art. 20:  Political parties or groups . . . must respect the principles of democracy, unity, national sovereignty, human rights, secularism, and the republican form of the State, and conform themselves to all laws and regulations in force.]


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