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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 As of 5/11/2011, last amendment was in 2010
Source World Intellectual Property Organization
Translation Unofficial translation by ARDA staff from French source
Current as of 2009 (Does not include 2010 amendment)

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2


The Gabonese people, aware of their responsibility to God and before history, animated by the desire to ensure their independence and national unity, to organize common life according to the principles of national sovereignty, democracy, pluralism, social justice, and republican legality;


The Gabonese Republic recognizes and guarantees the inviolable and inalienable rights of man, which are binding on the government:
…(2) The freedom of conscience, thought, opinion, expression, communication, and the free practice of religion shall be guaranteed to all, subject to compliance with public order; …(13) The right to form associations, political parties or groups, trade unions, corporations, social institutions and religious communities is guaranteed to all under the conditions established by law; religious communities govern and administer their affairs in an independent manner, subject to the principles of national sovereignty, public order, and the preservation of the moral integrity and mental health of the individual.
Associations, political parties or groups, trade unions, corporations, social institutions and religious communities whose activities are contrary to law or good order between ethnic groups or units may be prohibited under the law.
Any act of racial, ethnic or religious discrimination, as well as any regionalist propaganda undermining the internal or external security of the state or the integrity of the Republic shall be punishable by law;
…(17) Care for children and their education are natural rights for parents and duties they perform under the supervision of and with the help of state and public authorities. Parents have the right, under the obligation of compulsory education, to decide the moral and religious education of their children. Children have vis-ΰ-vis the State the same rights as regards their physical, intellectual, and moral support;
… (19) The State has the duty to organize public education on the principle of religious neutrality and, as appropriate, on a free basis;…
… In public schools, religious instruction can be given to students at the request of parents, under the conditions determined by regulations…


Gabon is an indivisible, secular, democratic and social republic. It affirms the separation of state and religion and recognizes all religions and beliefs, provided that public order is respected.
The Gabonese Republic shall ensure the equality of all citizens before the law, regardless of origin, race, sex, opinion or religion…


Any act detrimental to the republican form, unity, secularism of the state, to sovereignty and to independence constitutes a crime of high treason punishable by law.


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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