National Profiles > Regions > Polynesia > Tuvalu
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Protestant

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Protestant (incl. Anglican, Pentecostal) (67.5%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 Yes
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 Yes


Constitution Year4 1978
Last Amended4 As of 1989, last amendment was in 1989
Source4 World Intellectual Property Organization
Translation4 Original was written in English
Current as of4 1989 (later amendments not included)

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)4


"AND WHEREAS the people of Tuvalu, acknowledging God as the Almighty and Everlasting Lord and giver of all good things, humbly place themselves under His good providence and seek His blessing upon themselves and their lives;
"AND WHEREAS the people of Tuvalu desire to constitute themselves as an independent State based on Christian principles
, the Rule of Law, and Tuvaluan custom and tradition;
…THESE PRINCIPLES, under the guidance of God, are solemnly adopted and affirmed as the basis of this Constitution, and as the guiding principles to be observed in its interpretation and application at all levels of government and organized life.

11. The fundamental human rights and freedoms

(1) Every person in Tuvalu is entitled, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, color, religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs, or sex, to the following fundamental rights and freedoms: —
…(e) freedom of belief (see section 23); and

18. Slavery and forced labor

(1) …no-one shall—
(e) be held in slavery or servitude; or
(f) be required to perform forced labor.
(2) For the purposes of this section—
…(b) forced labor does not include—
…(iv) in the case of a person who proves that he has a conscientious objection to compulsory service as a member of a naval, military or air force – labor which he is required by law to perform in place of such service;

23. Freedom of belief

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Part, and in particular to—
(a) the succeeding provisions of this section; and
(b) section 29 (protection of Tuvaluan values, etc.); and
(c) section 31 (disciplined forces of Tuvalu); and
(d) section 32 (foreign disciplined forces); and
(e) section 33 (hostile disciplined forces); and
(f) section 36 (restrictions on certain rights and freedoms during public emergencies),
except with his consent no-one shall be hindered in the exercise of his freedom of belief.
(2) For the purposes of this section, freedom of belief includes —
(a) freedom of thought, religion and belief; and
(b) freedom to change religion or belief; and
(c) freedom, either alone or with others, to show and to spread, both in public and in private, a religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
(3) A religious community is entitled, at its own expense —
(a) to establish and maintain places of education; and
(b) subject to the maintenance of any minimum prescribed educational standards, to manage any place of education that it wholly maintains; and
(c) subject to subsection (4), to provide religious instruction for members of the community in the course of any education that it provides.
(4) Except with his consent, no-one attending a place of education shall be required —
(a) to receive religious instruction; or
(b) to take part in or attend a religious ceremony or observance, if the instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion or belief other than his own.
(5) No-one shall be compelled —
(a) to take an oath or make an affirmation that is contrary to his religion or belief; or
(b) to take an oath or make an affirmation in any manner that is contrary to his religion or belief. (a) in the interests of —
(i) defense; or
(ii) public safety; or
(iii) public order; or
(iv) public morality; or
(v) public health; or
(b) for the purpose of protecting the rights or freedoms of other persons, including the right to observe and practice any religion or belief without the unsolicited intervention of members of any other religion or belief.
(7) N


1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports the estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. The RCS was created to fulfill the unmet need for a dataset on the religious dimensions of countries of the world, with the state-year as the unit of observation. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivision within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

3.  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.

4.  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 support@thearda.com if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

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