Lesotho
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Western Christian

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Catholic (49.4%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 yes
Does the constitution state an official religion?3 not stated
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 yes [Section 13(1)]
Does the constitution protect religious equality/non-discrimination?3 yes [Sections 4(1), 18(3)]

Constitution

Constitution Year3 1993
Last Amended3 2011
Source3 Constitute Project
Translation3 Original is in English.
Current as of3 August 27, 2018

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)3

Section 4. Fundamental human rights and freedoms.

(1) Whereas every person in Lesotho is entitled, whatever his ... religion ... to fundamental human rights and freedoms, that is to say, to each and all of the following---

[Here follow enumerated rights, including:]

(i) freedom of conscience;

...

...

Section 13. Freedom of conscience.

(1) Every person shall be entitled to, and (except with his own consent) shall not be hindered in his enjoyment of, freedom of conscience, including freedom of thought and of religion, freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others, and both in public and in private, to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

(2) Every religious community shall be entitled, at its own expense, to establish and maintain places of education and to manage any place of education which it wholly maintains; and no such community shall be prevented from providing religious instruction for persons of that community in the course of any education provided at any places of education which it wholly maintains or in the course of any education which it otherwise provides.

(3) Except with his own consent (or, if he is a minor, the consent of his guardian), no person attending any place of education shall be required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or attend any religious ceremony or observance if that instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion other than his own.

(4) No person shall be compelled to take any oath which is contrary to his religion or belief or to take any oath in a manner which is contrary to his religion or belief.

(5) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision---

(a) in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or

(b) for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons, including the right to observe and practice any religion without the unsolicited intervention of members of any other religion.

(6) A person shall not be permitted to rely in any judicial proceedings upon such a provision of law as is referred to in subsection (5) except to the extent to which he satisfies the court that that provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under the authority thereof does not abridge the rights and freedoms guaranteed by this section to a greater extent than is necessary in a practical sense in a democratic society in the interests of any of the matters specified in subsection (5)(a) or for the purpose specified in subsection (5)(b).

(7) Reference in this section to a religion shall be construed as including references to a religious denomination, and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly.

Section 16. Freedom of association.

(1) Every person shall be entitled to, and (except with his own consent) shall not be hindered in his enjoyment of freedom to associate freely with other persons for ... religious ... and similar purposes.

...

Section 18. Freedom from discrimination.

[Prohibits discriminatory legislation and treatment]

(3) In this section, the expression "discriminatory" means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by ... religion ... whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.

(4) Subsection (1) shall not apply to any law to the extent that that law makes provision---

...

(b) for the application, in the case of persons of any such description as is mentioned in subsection (3) (or of persons connected with such persons), of the law with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other like matters which is the personal law of persons of that description; ...

...

(5) [The technical exceptions based on standards of qualifications cannot include:] ... standards of qualifications specifically relating to ... religion ...

...

Section 26. Equality and justice.

(1) Lesotho shall adopt policies aimed at promoting a society based on equality and justice for all its citizens regardless of ... religion ...

[A provision for affirmative action follows]


Sources

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, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports annual estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivisions 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, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

3.  Text from country constitutions was copied from primary documents obtained online using a variety of sources, including the Constitute Project, World Constitutions Illustrated, and government sources. When the text was in a language other than English, it was translated to English by ARDA staff or with web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to differentiate religious content from non-religious content. Text is current to the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at support@thearda.com if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

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