Burma (Myanmar)
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Features of Constitution1

Is there a constitution? No
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion? No


Constitution Year 2008
Last Amended not amended
Source World Intellectual Property Organization
Translation Source is an English translation
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

Section 34

Every citizen is equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess and practice religion subject to public order, morality or health and to the other provisions of this Constitution.

Section 121

The following persons shall not be entitled to be elected as the Pyithu Hluttaw (lower house of the legislature of Burma) representatives:
…(g) person himself or is of [sic] a member of an organization who obtains and utilizes directly or indirectly the support of money, land, housing, building, vehicle [sic], property, so forth, from [a] government or religious organization or other organizations of a foreign country;
(h) person himself or is of [sic] a member of an organization who abets the act of inciting, giving speech, conversing or issuing declaration to vote or not to vote based on religion for political purpose;
(i) member of a religious order;

Section 348

The Union shall not discriminate any citizen of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, based on race, birth, religion, official position, status, culture, sex and wealth.

Section 352

The Union shall, upon specified qualifications being fulfilled, in appointing or assigning duties to civil service personnel, not discriminate for or against any citizen of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, based on race, birth, religion, and sex. However, nothing in this Section shall prevent appointment of men to the positions that are suitable for men only.

Section 354

Every citizen shall be at liberty in the exercise of the following rights, if not contrary to the laws, enacted for Union security, prevalence of law and order, community peace and tranquility or public order and morality:
(a) to express and publish freely their convictions and opinions;
(b) to assemble peacefully without arms and holding procession;
(c) to form associations and organizations;
(d) to develop their language, literature, culture they cherish, religion they profess, and customs without prejudice to the relations between one national race and another or among national races and to other faiths.

Section 360

(a) The freedom of religious right given in Section 34 shall not include any economic, financial, political or other secular activities that may be associated with religious practice.
(b) The freedom of religious practice so guaranteed shall not debar the Union from enacting law for the purpose of public welfare and reform.

Section 361

The Union recognizes special position of Buddhism as the faith professed by the great majority of the citizens of the Union.

Section 362

The Union also recognizes Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Animism as the religions existing in the Union at the day of the coming into operation of this Constitution.

Section 363

The Union may assist and protect the religions it recognizes to its utmost.

Section 364

The abuse of religion for political purposes is forbidden. Moreover, any act which is intended or is likely to promote feelings of hatred, enmity or discord between racial or religious communities or sects is contrary to this Constitution. A law may be promulgated to punish such activity.

Section 368

The Union shall honor and assist citizens who are outstanding in education irrespective of race, religion and sex according to their qualifications.

Section 392

The following persons shall have no right to vote:
(a) members of religious orders;
(b) persons serving prison terms;
(c) persons determined to be of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent Court;
(d) persons who have not yet been declared from insolvent [sic];
(e) persons disqualified by election law.

Section 407

If a political party infringe one of the following stipulations, it shall have no right of continued existence:
…(d) abusing religion for political purpose [sic].

Section 408

If the body having authority to register political parties finds that a political party infringes one of the stipulations contained in Section 407, the party’s registration shall be revoked.


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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