Congo, Democratic Republic of the
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Features of Constitution1

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


Constitution Year 2006
Last Amended 2011
Source Official Site of the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo
Translation Unofficial translation by ARDA staff from French source
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2


We, the Congolese people,
…Aware of our responsibility before God, the Nation, Africa and the World;
Solemnly declare the adoption of the present Constitution.

Article 1

The Democratic Republic of Congo, within its June 30, 1960 borders, is a state governed by the rule of law, and is independent, sovereign, united and indivisible, social, democratic and secular.

Article 13

No Congolese may, in matters concerning education, access to public service or any other matter, be subject to discrimination, whether by legislation or executive action, due to their religion, family origin, social status, residence, opinion or political beliefs, membership in a particular race, ethnic group, tribe, or cultural or linguistic minority.

Article 22

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
Everyone has the right to manifest their religion or belief, individually or collectively, both in public and private, through worship, teaching, practice, observance of rites and by living a religious life, subject to compliance with the law, public order, morality and the rights of others.
The law establishes the procedures for exercising those freedoms.

Article 23

Everyone has the right to freedom of expression.
This right includes the freedom to express their opinions or beliefs, including through speech, writing and imagery, subject to compliance with the law, public order and morality.

Article 36

…No one shall be discriminated against in their work because of their origins, sex, opinions, beliefs or their socioeconomic conditions.

Article 45

Education is free.
However, it is subject to government supervision, under the conditions laid down by law.
Everyone has access to national educational establishments, without discrimination due to place of origin, race, religion, sex, political or philosophical beliefs, or physical, mental or sensory state, according to his abilities.
The national educational establishments can underwrite, in cooperation with religious authorities, an education in accordance with one’s religious beliefs for minor students whose parents request it.

Article 61

In the event that a state of siege or state of emergency is declared, in accordance with Articles 85 and 86 of this Constitution, the fundamental rights and principles listed below may not be derogated:
…7. freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Article 74

The President-elect of the Republic shall assume office within ten days after the announcement of the final results of the presidential election.
Before taking office, the President of the Republic takes the following oath before the Constitutional Court:
"I,___________, elected President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, solemnly swear before God and the nation:
- To maintain the independence and integrity of the territory;
- To safeguard national unity;
- To be guided by the general interest and respect for human rights;
- To devote all my strength to promoting the common good and peace;
- To be a fair and faithful servant of the people in the high duties assigned to me.


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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