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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Jewish

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Jewish (71.8%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 No, but law functions in its place
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 Yes, the law does in place of a constitution


Constitution Year4 not applicable
Last Amended4 not applicable
Source4 International Constitutional Law (ICL)
Translation4 Source is in English
Current as of4 May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)4

[ARDA Note: Israel does not have a formal written constitution, but the excerpted texts below function as law.]

Basic Law: The Knesset

Section 7: Who Shall Not Be a Candidate

The following shall not be candidates for the Knesset:
…(2) the two Chief Rabbis; …
…(4) a judge of a religious court, so long as he holds office;…
…(7) rabbis and ministers of other religions while holding office for a remuneration;

Section 7a: Prevention of Participation of Candidates List

A candidates' list shall not participate in elections to the Knesset if its objects or actions, expressly or by implication, include one of the following:
(1) negation of the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people;
(2) negation of the democratic character of the State;
(3) incitement to racism.

Basic Law: The Government

Section 17: Publication of Agreements

(a) Should a written agreement be drawn up pertaining to the election of the Prime Minister or the establishment of the Government, or relating an expression of no confidence therein, or pertaining to the adding of Ministers to the Government after its establishment, or pertaining to the appointment of a Deputy Minister, the sides to the agreement shall then submit its complete text to the Secretary of the Knesset within three days of signing, and not later than 48 hours before the election day or 24 hours before the presentation of the Government or the no confidence vote, respectively; in the figuring of days and hours, legally endorsed days of rest or religious holidays shall not be included; should an agreement be drawn up by a list of candidates to the Knesset, the sides will immediately submit a copy thereof to the Secretary of the Knesset.

Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel

Section 3: Protection of Holy Places

The Holy Places shall be protected from desecration and any other violation and from anything likely to violate the freedom of access of the members of the different religions to the places sacred to them or their feelings toward those places.

Basic Law: Judicature

Section 1: Judicial Power

…(b) Judicial power is vested also in the following:
(1) a religious court;

Section 15: Supreme Court

(d) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of Subsection (c), the Supreme Court sitting as a High Court of Justice shall be competent-
…(3) to order courts (batei mishpat and batei din) and bodies and persons having judicial or quasi-judicial powers under law, other than courts dealt with by this Law and other than religious courts (batei din), to hear, refrain from hearing, or continue hearing a particular matter or to void a proceeding improperly taken or a decision improperly given;
(4) to order religious courts (batei din) to hear a particular matter within their jurisdiction or to refrain from hearing or continue hearing a particular matter not within their jurisdiction, provided that the court shall not entertain an application under this paragraph is the applicant did not raise the question of jurisdiction at the earliest opportunity; and if he had no measurable opportunity to raise the question of jurisdiction until a decision had been given by a religious court, the court may quash a proceeding taken or a decision given by the religious court without authority.

Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty

Section 1a: Purpose

The purpose of this Basic Law is to protect human dignity and liberty, in order to establish in a Basic Law the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation (1994)

Section 2: Purpose

The purpose of this Basic La


1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports the estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. The RCS was created to fulfill the unmet need for a dataset on the religious dimensions of countries of the world, with the state-year as the unit of observation. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivision within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

3.  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.

4.  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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