Sao Tome and Principe
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Features of Constitution1

Is there a constitution? Yes
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion? Yes


Constitution Year 1990
Last Amended 2003
Source National Assembly of Sao Tome and Principe
Translation Unofficial translation by ARDA staff from Portuguese source
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

Article 8: Secular State

The Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe is a secular state, and there exists a separation from the state with respect to all religious institutions.

Article 15: Principles of Equality

1. All citizens are equal before the law, enjoy the same rights and are subject to the same duties, without distinction of social origin, race, gender, political orientation, religious belief or philosophical belief.
2. The woman is man's equal in rights and duties, being assured full participation in political, economic, social and cultural.

Article 27: Freedom of Conscience, Religion and Worship

1. The Freedom of conscience, religion and worship is inviolable.
2. No one can be persecuted, deprived of rights or exempted from civic duties or obligations because of their religious belief or practice.
3. Nobody may be questioned by any authority about their religious beliefs or practices, except for the purpose of collecting statistical data does not identify individuals, nor may they be discriminated against by refusing to answer.
4. Religious denominations are free in their worship, their instruction and their organization.

Article 31: Right to Freedom of Education and Learning

1. The right to freedom of education and learning is guaranteed.
2. The state may not have the right to plan education and culture in accordance with any philosophical, political, ideological or religious directives.

Article 154: Limits on Matters of [Constitutional] Revision

There may be no revisions to the constitution concerning the following matters:
b) the secular status of the state;


1.  Data under the "Features of Constitution" heading are drawn from coding of the U.S. State Department's 2008 International Religious Freedom Reports conducted by researchers at the Association of Religion Data Archives. The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke describes the coding of the International Religious Freedom reports. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

2.  The constitutional excerpts shown above are reproduced from the websites given in the "Source" field; the links to these websites were active as of May 2011. Where the constitutional text shown on these websites was provided in a language other than English, this text was translated to English by ARDA staff with assistance from web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate and Yahoo! Babel Fish. Constitutional text was converted to American English where applicable. Constitutional clauses were judged to contain religious content based largely on the standards used in the construction of the Religion and State Constitutions Dataset collected by Jonathan Fox. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to highlight religious content in articles that also contain content that does not pertain to matters of religion. The data on this page were correct to the best of the knowledge of the ARDA as of the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

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