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Features of Constitution1

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


Constitution Year 1996
Last Amended 2008
Source The Constitutional Council of Algeria
Translation Unofficial translation by ARDA staff from French and Arabic source
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful


…At the heart of great events witnessed by the Mediterranean throughout its history, Algeria has found in her sons, from the Numid era and the epoch of Islam to the wars of decolonization, the heralds of freedom, unity and progress and the builders of democratic and prosperous States in times of glory and peace.
The 1st of November 1954 was a turning point for its destiny and the culmination of the long resistance to the aggressions carried out against its culture, its values and the fundamental components of its identity, which are Islam, Arabity and Amazighity. The present struggles are well rooted in the glorious past of the nation.
…With their deeply rooted spiritual values and their traditions of solidarity and justice, the people are confident in their ability to participate fully in the cultural, social and economic worlds of today and tomorrow.
Algeria, a land of Islam, part of the Great Maghreb, and an Arab, Mediterranean and African country is proud of the influence of the Revolution of November 1st and the respect the country has managed to acquire and maintain due to its commitment to the just causes in the world.

Article 2

Islam is the religion of the State.

Article 9

Institutions are banned that:
- employ feudal, regionalist and nepotistic practices,
- establish exploitative relationships and links of dependence,
-employ practices that are contrary to Islamic morality and to the values of the November Revolution.

Article 36

The freedoms of conscience and opinion are inviolable.

Article 42

The right to form political parties is recognized and guaranteed.
This right may not be used to violate the fundamental freedoms, values and components of the national identity, national unity, the security and the integrity of the national territory, the country’s independence and the sovereignty of the people and the democratic and republican nature of the State.
In compliance with the provisions of this Constitution, political parties cannot be founded on a religious, linguistic, racial, sex, corporatist or regional basis.
Political parties cannot resort to partisan propaganda on the elements mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
It is forbidden in any form whatsoever for political parties to show any obedience to foreign interests or parties.
No political party can resort to violence or coercion in any nature or form.
Other obligations and duties are prescribed by law.

Article 52

Private property is guaranteed.
The right of inheritance is guaranteed.
The "Wakf" properties and foundations are recognized; their intended purposes are protected by law.

Article 62

Every citizen should faithfully fulfill their obligations with regard to the national community.
The commitment of the citizen to the Fatherland and the obligation to contribute to its defense are sacred and permanent duties.
The State guarantees the respect of the symbols of the Revolution, the memory of Chouhada and the dignity and their dependents and the Mujahideen.

Article 73

To be eligible to the Presidency of the Republic, a candidate must:
- be solely of Algerian nationality by origin;
- be a Muslim;
- have reached forty (40) years of age by the day of the election;
- enjoy full civil and political rights;
- prove the Algerian nationality of their spouse;
- for candidates born before July 1942, prove their participation in the Revolution of the 1st of November 1954;
- for candidates born after July 1942, prove that their parents were not involved in actions hostile to the Revolution of the 1st of November 1954;
- submit a public declaration of his personal and real estate both inside and outside of Algeria.
Other conditions are prescribed by law.

Article 76

The President of the Republic takes an oath in the following terms:
"In the Name of God the Merciful and the Compassionate
And faithful to the sacrifices of the great and the lives of our martyrs
as well as the timeless values of the November Revolution, I swear to God Almighty to respect the Islamic religion and glorify God, defend the Constitution, ensure the continuity of the State and provide the conditions necessary for the normal functioning of institutions and constitutional order, to strengthen the democratic process, respect the people’s freedom of choice as well as the institutions and laws of the Republic, preserve the integrity of the national territory, the unity of the people and the nation, protect the fundamental rights and freedom of man and citizens, work relentlessly for the development and prosperity of the people, and expend all my strength in order to achieve the ideals of justice, freedom and peace in the world to the achievement of the great ideals of justice, freedom and peace in the world.
God is my witness."
[ARDA Note: The text of this oath was written in Arabic in the original source and was translated in an unofficial capacity by ARDA staff.]

Article 171

A High Islamic Council is established under the President of the Republic and is entrusted to, inter alia:
- encourage and promote "ijtihad";
- issue its opinion with regard to religious precepts on matters submitted to it;
- submit a periodic report of its activity to the President of the Republic.

Article 172

The High Islamic Council is composed of fifteen (15) members, including a president appointed by the President of the Republic, among those nationals with expertise in the various sciences.

Article 178

No constitutional revision may infringe upon:
1 - the republican nature of the State;
2 - the democratic order as based on the multiparty system;
3 - the status of Islam as the religion of the State;
4 - the status of Arabic as the national and official language;
5 - fundamental liberties and the human rights of citizens;
6 - the integrity of the national territory;
7 - the national emblem and the national anthem as symbols of the Revolution and the Republic.


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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