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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Mixed Catholic, Sunni

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Sunni Muslim (85%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 Yes
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 Yes


Constitution Year4 1992
Last Amended4 not amended
Source4 Centre for Human Rights (University of Pretoria)
Translation4 Source is an English translation
Current as of4 May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)4


The Sovereign People of Mali, fortified by their traditions of heroic struggle, committed to remain faithful to the ideals of the victims of repression and the fallen martyrs killed in battle for the advent of a nation of law and of pluralist democracy,
… - solemnly engage to defend the republican form and secularity of the State,

Article 2

All Malians are born and live free and equal in their rights and duties. Any discrimination based on social origin, color, language, race, sex, religion, or political opinion is prohibited.

Article 4

Every person has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, worship, opinion, expression, and creation in respect to the law.

Article 12

No one may be forced into exile.
Anyone persecuted because of their political or religious beliefs, [or] their ethnic membership, may benefit from the right of asylum in the Republic of Mali.

Article 18

Every citizen has a right to education.
Public education is mandatory, free, and non-religious.
Private education is recognized and it must be carried out according to the conditions defined by law.

Article 25

Mali is an independent, sovereign, indivisible, democratic, secular, social Republic.
Its principle is to be a government of the People, by the People and for the People.
…The motto of the Republic is "One People – One Purpose – One Faith" (Un Peuple – Un But – Une Foi).

Article 28

The political parties shall concur as to the expression of suffrage. They may form and exercise their activities freely within the conditions determined by law.
They must respect the principles of national sovereignty, democracy, integrity of the territory, national unity, and the secularity of the State.

Article 37

The President Elect shall enter into office fifteen days after the official proclamation of the election results. Before entering into office, he shall declare before the Supreme Court the following oath:
"I swear before God and the Malian People to preserve in perfect fidelity the Republican Regime, to respect and to create respect for the Constitution and the law, to carry out my duties in the superior interest of the People, to preserve the democratic establishment, to guaranty the national unity, the independence of homeland and the integrity of the national territory.
I solemnly and on my honor commit myself fully to implement the realization of African Unity."

Article 118

Initiative to revise the Constitution rests with both the President of the Republic and the Deputies.
A project or proposal of revision must be voted-in by the National Assembly with a majority of the two tiers of its members. A revision is only definite after being approved by referendum.
No procedure of revision may be engaged in or pursued when it undermines the integrity of the territory.
The republican form and the secularity of the State as well as multipartyism may not be made the object of revision.


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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