El Salvador
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Features of Constitution1

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

Constitution2

Constitution Year 1983
Last Amended 2009
Source Political Database of the Americas
Translation Unofficial translation by ARDA staff from Spanish source
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

DECREE Number 38

We, representatives of the people of El Salvador meeting in the Constituent Assembly, placing our trust in God, our will in the high destiny of the fatherland and in the exercise of the sovereign authority that the people of El Salvador have given us, animated by the fervent desire to lay the foundations for national coexistence based on the dignity of the human person, the construction of a fairer society, the essence of democracy and the spirit of liberty and justice, and the values of our human heritage, decree, ratify and proclaim the following Constitution:


Article 3

All persons are equal before the law. The enjoyment of civil rights may be restricted based on differences of nationality, race, sex or religion.
Neither employment nor privileges based on hereditary are recognized.


Article 6

Any person may freely express and disseminate their thoughts provided that they do not subvert public order or injure the moral integrity, honor, or privacy of others. The exercise of this right shall not be subject to prior review, censorship or bail, but those who make use of it to violate the law, will be responsible for the crime they commit.
In no case may print, its accessories, or any other means of disseminating thought be used as an instrument of crime.
Firms engaged in written, radio or television communication and other publication enterprises are not to be subject to nationalization or any other expropriation procedure. This prohibition applies to the actions or social shares of their owners.
The companies mentioned may not establish different rates or make any other kind of discrimination of a political or religious character on what is published.


Article 7

The people of El Salvador have the right to associate freely and to assemble peacefully and without arms for any lawful purpose. No one shall be compelled to belong to an association.
A person�s lawful activity cannot be restricted or impeded because they did not belong to an association.
The existence of political, religious or trade union groups that are armed is prohibited.


Article 25

The free exercise of all religions, limited only by morality and public order, is guaranteed. No religious ceremony will serve to establish the marital status of individuals.


Article 26

The legal personality of the Catholic Church is recognized. Other churches may obtain recognition of their legal personality, in accordance with the law.


Article 29

In case of war, invasion of the territory, rebellion, sedition, catastrophe, epidemic or another general calamity or serious disturbance of public order, the guarantees set out in Articles 5, the first paragraph of Article 6, the first paragraph of Article 7 and Article 24 of this Constitution may be suspended, except in the case of religious, cultural, economic and sporting meetings or associations. Such suspension may affect the whole or part of the territory of the Republic, and will be made by decree of the Legislative Body or the Executive Body, where appropriate.
...


Article 38

Work shall be governed by a code which will aim to harmonize relations between employers and workers, setting out their rights and obligations. It will be based on general principles aimed at improving the living conditions of workers, and shall cover the following rights:
1. In the same enterprise or establishment and in identical circumstances, equal work must correspond with equal pay to the worker, regardless of their sex, race, creed or nationality;�


Article 47

Private employers and workers, regardless of nationality, sex, race, creed, political views or the task or nature of their work, have the right to associate freely to defend their respective interests, and to form professional associations or unions. Employees of autonomous public institutions, public servants, public employees and municipal employees have the same right.


Article 58

No educational establishment may refuse to admit students because of the nature of the union of their parents or guardians, or due to social, religious, racial or political differences.


Article 82

No ministers of any religion, active-duty members of the Armed Forces or members of the National Civil Police may belong to political parties and are not eligible for elective office.
They may not make political propaganda in any form.
Voting will be exercised in citizens in places established by law and may not take place on the premises of military or public safety installations.


Article 108

No corporation or foundation civil or church, whatever their denomination or purpose, will have the legal capacity to retain property or manage real estate, with the exception of immediate and direct uses for the service or purpose of the institution.


Article 151

To be elected President of the Republic, one must: be Salvadoran by birth, have a Salvadoran child or parent; be a layperson, be more than thirty years of age, be of notable morality and education; be in the exercise of their rights as a citizen, have been in the state for the six years preceding the election, and be affiliated with one of the legally recognized political parties.


Article 160

To become a Minister or Deputy Minister of State, one is required to: be Salvadoran by birth, be more than twenty-five years of age, be a layperson, be of notable morality and education; be in the exercise of their rights as a citizen, and have been in the state for the six years preceding their appointment.


Article 176

To be a justice of the Supreme Court, one is required to: be Salvadoran by birth, be a layperson, be more than forty years of age, be a lawyer of the Republic, be moral and of notable competence; have been a judge of the Second Appeal for six years or a judge of the First Appeal for nine years, or have obtained permission to practice as a lawyer at least ten years before election; enjoy citizenship rights and have been in the state for six years prior to performing their duties.


Article 177

To be judge of the Courts of Second Appeal, one is required to be Salvadoran, be a layperson, be more than thirty-five years of age, be a lawyer of the Republic, be moral and of notable competence, have served as a judge of the First Appeal for six years or have obtained permission to practice law for at least eight years before election; enjoy citizenship rights and have been in the state for six years prior to performing their duties.


Article 179

To be a judge of First Appeal, one is required to be Salvadoran, be a layperson, be a lawyer of the Republic, be moral and of notable competence, have served as a justice of the peace for a year or have obtained permission to practice law two years before their appointment; enjoy citizenship rights and have been in the state for three years prior to performing their duties.


Article 180

The minimal requirements to be a justice of the peace are to be: Salvadoran, a lawyer of the Republic, a layperson, more than twenty-one years of age, moral and of notable competence; enjoy citizenship rights and have been in the state for three years prior to their appointment. The Justices of the Peace will be covered by the judiciary.
In exceptional cases, the National Judicial Council may name non-lawyers to the office of justice of the peace, but the length of their term shall be one year.


Article 201

To be a Governor, one is required to: be Salvadoran, be a layperson, be more than twenty-five years of age, exercise their citizenship rights and have been in the state for the three years prior to their appointment, be of notable morality and education, and be a native or resident of the relevant territory; if a resident, one have resided there for the two years immediately preceding the appointment.


Article 231

Taxes may not be imposed except by virtue of a law and for the service of the public.
Temples and their premises that are immediately and directly intended for religious service shall be exempt from property taxes.



[Note: The constitutional text hosted by the Political Database of the Americas is reproduced from official government sources.]

Sources

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 arda@pop.psu.edu if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.