Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Religion Provisions of the Constitution of East Timor

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"

The Constitution of East Timor combines religious freedom and non-establishment guarantees in an interesting way by placing them in the same sentence.  Section 12(1) below, stating that the State "shall promote the cooperation with the different religious denominations" is of unclear import to me.


Interpreting the profound sentiments, the aspirations
and the faith in God of the People of East Timor;


Section 11(2)  The State acknowledges and values the participation of the
Catholic Church in the process of national liberation of East

Religious Freedom/Establishment Clause/Religious Education

Section 45. Freedom of conscience, religion and worship
1. Every person is guaranteed the freedom of conscience,
religion and worship and the religious denominations are
separated from the State.
2. No one shall be persecuted or discriminated against on the
basis of his or her religious convictions.
3. The right to be a conscientious objector shall be
guaranteed in accordance with the law.
4. Freedom to teach any religion in the framework of the
respective religious denomination is guaranteed.

Section 12. State and religious denominations
1. The State shall recognise and respect the different religious
denominations, which are free in their organisation and in the
exercise of their own activities, to take place in due
observance of the Constitution and the law.
2. The State shall promote the cooperation with the different
religious denominations that contribute to the well-being of
the people of East Timor.

Equal Protection of Religion

Section 16(2)  No one shall be discriminated against on grounds of colour,
race, marital status, gender, ethnical origin, language, social
or economic status, political or ideological convictions,
religion, education and physical or mental condition.

Ceremonial Deism

Section 77(3)  At the swearing-in ceremony, the President of the Republic
shall take the following oath:
“I swear to God, to the people and on my honour that I
will fulfil with loyalty the functions that have been
invested in me, will abide by and enforce the
Constitution and the laws and will dedicate all my
energies and knowledge to the defence and
consolidation of independence and national unity.”

No comments:

Post a Comment