Liechtenstein
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Features of Constitution1

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

Constitution2

Constitution Year 1921
Last Amended 2008
Source Liechtenstein National Administration
Translation Source is an English translation
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

Preamble

We, Johann II, sovereign Reigning Prince of Liechtenstein� by the Grace of God, make known herewith that the Constitution of 26 September 1862 has been amended by Us with the assent of Our Parliament as follows:


Article 14

The highest responsibility of the State shall be to promote the overall welfare of the People. For this purpose, the State shall be responsible for establishing and safeguarding law and for protecting the religious, moral and economic interests of the People.


Article 15

The State shall devote special attention to education and schooling. Education and schooling shall be designed and administered so that, through the cooperation of family, school and church, the members of the younger generation are endowed with religious and moral learning, patriotic attitudes, and skills for their future occupations.


Article 16

1) The entire system of education and instruction shall be under the supervision of the State, without prejudice to the inviolability of church teachings.
2) Education shall be universal and compulsory.
3) The State shall ensure that adequate compulsory instruction in the elementary subjects is given free of charge in public schools.
4) Religious instruction shall be given by the Church authorities.
5) Nobody shall allow young persons in their charge to leave school without the degree of schooling prescribed for public elementary schools.
6) [repealed]
7) [repealed]
8) Private education shall be permissible, provided that it conforms with the legal provisions governing the period of schooling, the educational aims, and the arrangements prevailing in the public schools.


Article 37

1) Freedom of religion and conscience shall be guaranteed for all.
2) The Roman Catholic Church is the National Church and as such shall enjoy the full protection of the State; other denominations shall be entitled to practice their creeds and to hold religious services within the limits of morality and public order.


Article 38

Ownership and all other proprietary rights of religious communities and associations in respect of their institutes, foundations and other possessions devoted to worship, instruction, and charity shall be guaranteed. The administration of church property in the parishes shall be regulated by a specific law; the agreement of the church authorities shall be sought before the law is enacted.


Article 39

The enjoyment of civil and political rights shall be independent of religious creed; religious creed may not be detrimental to civil obligations.


Article 54

1) Parliament shall be opened with all due ceremony by the Reigning Prince in person or by his plenipotentiary. All new Members shall take the following oath before the Reigning Prince or his plenipotentiary:
"I hereby swear to observe the State Constitution and the existing laws and to promote in Parliament the welfare of the country, without any ulterior motives, to the best of my ability and conscience, so help me God!"
2) Members entering Parliament later shall take this oath before the President.


Article 108

Members of the Government, State employees, and all mayors, their deputies and the municipal treasurers shall take the following oath upon appointment:

"I swear that I will be loyal to the Reigning Prince, that I will obey the laws, and that I will strictly observe the Constitution, so help me God."


Letters attached to the original constitution

Vaduz, 5 October 1921
For His Serene Highness, the Reigning Prince Johann II of Liechtenstein, and on His behalf as duly authorized by His Highest letter of 2 October 1921:

�In granting My sovereign sanction to this decision, I express the sincere wish and the hope that, just as the representatives of My People have reached unanimous agreement, without distinction as to party, on the creation of such an important legislative work for the country, the same spirit of harmony shall in the future also unite the population of My Country in peaceful work for the lasting good of the whole and every part thereof and that, with the long-standing and likewise continuing cooperation of State and Church, under the protection of God, My People and My Country may enjoy renewed happiness and rich blessings on the basis of the new fundamental law of the State�
�However, to express my joy at the completion of this great work of reform nonetheless and to give My Country a proof of My fatherly love, I entrust, in accordance with article 13 of the new Constitution, my beloved nephew who is now in the Country, His Serene Highness Prince Karl of Liechtenstein, with the signing of the Constitutional Deed on My behalf at Vaduz, on the 5th of October of this year, the day when, with God's merciful blessing, I hope to complete my eighty-first year.

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.