Liberia
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Features of Constitution1

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

Constitution2

Constitution Year 1986
Last Amended not amended
Source International Constitutional Law (ICL)
Translation Original was written in English
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

Preamble

We the People of the Republic of Liberia:
Acknowledging our devout gratitude to God for our existence as a Free, Sovereign and Independent State, and relying on His Divine Guidance for our survival as a Nation;
Realizing from many experiences during the course of our national existence which culminated in the Revolution of April 12, 1980, when our Constitution of July 26, 1847 was suspended, that all of our people, irrespective of history, tradition, creed, or ethnic background are of one common body politic;�


Article 11

a. All persons are born equally free and independent and have certain natural, inherent and inalienable rights, among which are the right of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of pursuing and maintaining and security of the person and of acquiring, possessing and protecting property, subject to such qualifications as provided for in this Constitution.
b. All persons, irrespective of ethnic background, race, sex, creed, place of origin or political opinion, are entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, subject to such qualifications as provided for in this Constitution.
c. All persons are equal before the law and are therefore entitled to the equal protection of the law.


Article 14

All persons shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment thereof except as may be required by law to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others. All persons who, in the practice of their religion, conduct themselves peaceably, not obstructing others and conforming to the standards set out herein, shall be entitled to the protection of the law. No religious denomination or sect shall have any exclusive privilege or preference over any other, but all shall be treated alike; and no religious tests shall be required for any civil or military office or for the exercise of any civil right. Consistent with the principle of separation of religion and state, the Republic shall establish no state religion.


Article 18

All Liberian citizens shall have equal opportunity for work and employment regardless of sex, creed, religion, ethnic background, place of origin or political affiliation, and all shall be entitled to equal pay for equal work.


Article 78

As used in this Chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, an "association" means a body of persons, corporate or other, which acts together for a common purpose, and includes a group of people organized for any ethnic, social, cultural, occupational or religious objectives; a "political party" shall be an association with a membership of not less than five hundred qualified voters in each of at least six counties, whose activities include canvassing for votes on any public issue or in support of a candidate for elective public office; and an "independent candidate" shall be a person seeking electoral post or office with or without his own organization, acting independently of a political party.


Article 79

�b. the membership of the association or the independent candidate's organization is open to every citizen of Liberia, irrespective of sex, religion or ethnic background, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution�
�d. the name, objective, emblem or motto of the association or of the independent candidate and his organization is free from any religious connotations or divisive ethnic implications and that the activities of the association or independent candidate are not limited to a special group or, in the case of an association, limited to a particular geographic area of Liberia;�

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.