Burkina Faso
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Features of Constitution1

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


Constitution Year 1991
Last Amended 2002
Source Centre for Human Rights (University of Pretoria)
Translation Unofficial translation by ARDA staff from French source
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

Article 1

All Burkinabians shall be born free and equal in rights. All have an equal vocation to enjoy all the rights and all the freedoms guaranteed by the present Constitution. Discrimination of all sorts, notably those founded on race, ethnic background, region, color, sex, language, religion, caste, political opinions, wealth and birth, shall be prohibited.

Article 7

The freedom of belief, of non-belief, of conscience, of religious opinion, philosophy, of religious exercise, the freedom of assembly, the free practice of custom as well as the freedom of procession and its demonstration is guaranteed by the present Constitution subject to respect of the law, of the public order, of good morals and of the human person.

Article 23

The family is the basic unit of society. The state owes it protection. Marriage is founded on the free consent of the man and of the woman. All discrimination founded on race, color, religion, ethnicity, caste, social origin, or fortune is forbidden in the matter of marriage. Children are equal in rights and in duties within their familial relations. The parents have the natural right and the duty to bring up and to educate their children. They must give them respect and assistance.

Article 27

Every citizen has the right to education. Public education is secular. Private education is recognized. The law establishes the conditions of its exercise.

Article 31

Burkina Faso is a democratic, unitary and secular 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 support@thearda.com if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

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