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Features of Constitution1

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


Constitution Year 1917
Last Amended As of 1/2011, last amendment was made in 2010
Source Political Database of the Americas
Translation Unofficial translation by ARDA staff from Spanish source
Current as of August 24, 2009 (later amendments not included)

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

Article 1

In the United Mexican States everyone shall enjoy the guarantees granted this Constitution, which cannot be restricted or suspended except in the cases and with conditions established herein.
Slavery is prohibited in the United Mexican States. Foreign slaves entering the country, by this prohibition alone, attain freedom and the protection of the law.
All discrimination motivated by ethnic or national origin, gender, age, disability, social status, health status, religion, opinion, preferences, marital status or any other form of discrimination that undermines human dignity and is intended to nullify or undermine the rights and freedoms of individuals is prohibited.

Article 3

Everyone has the right to receive an education. The State—at the federal, state, Federal District, and municipal levels—will provide preschool, primary and secondary education. Preschool, primary and secondary education is compulsory.
The education provided by the State shall develop all the faculties of humanity harmoniously and will form, together, the love of country and awareness of international solidarity, in independence and justice.
I. As guaranteed under Article 24 on the freedom of belief, such education shall be secular and therefore shall be kept entirely separate from any religious doctrine;
II. Education shall be oriented around the result of scientific progress and the fight against ignorance and its effects, servility, fanaticism and prejudice.
…(c) It shall contribute to the improvement of human coexistence, both in order to contribute the strengthening the student and with respect for the dignity and integrity of the family, the conviction of the general interest of society, in order to sustain the ideals of brotherhood and equal rights of all men, avoiding the privileges of race, religion, group, sex or the individual.

Article 24

Everyone is free to profess the religious belief of his choice and to practice all rituals, devotions or acts of worship provided they do not constitute an offense punishable by law.
Congress cannot enact laws that establish or prohibit any religion.
Religious acts of public worship is ordinarily held in the houses of worship. Those that are uncommonly celebrated outside of houses of worship are subject to regulatory law.

Article 27

…The ability to acquire ownership of the lands and waters of the Nation shall be governed by the following provisions:
…II. Religious associations formed under the terms of Article 130 and regulatory law will have the capacity to acquire, own or administer, exclusively, property that is needed for their purposes, under the requirements and limitations established by regulatory law;

Article 55

To be a representative [in the Chamber of Deputies], the following is required:
…VI. One cannot be a minister in any religious worship, and...

Article 82

To be President, the following is required:
I. One must be a Mexican citizen by birth, in full enjoyment of one’s rights, be a child of a Mexican mother or father and have resided in the country for at least twenty years.
II. One must be at least 35 years old at the time of the election;
III. One must have resided in the country throughout the year prior to the day of the election. Absence from the country for up to thirty days does not interrupt the residence.
IV. One must not belong to the ecclesiastical state or be a minister of any religious worship.
V. One must not be in active service, belonging to the Army, six months prior to the day of the election.
VI. One must not be Secretary or Deputy Secretary of State, Attorney General, governor or any state or head of the Federal District government, unless one leaves their post six months prior to the day of the election; and
VII. One must not satisfy one of the causes of disability set out in Article 83.

Article 130

The historical principle of the separation of church and state guides the rules contained in this article. Churches and other religious groups are subject to the law.
It is the sole responsibility of Congress to legislate on public worship and churches and religious groups. The respective regulatory law, which will be of public order, will develop and consolidate the following provisions:
a) Churches and religious groups have legal personality as religious associations once they obtain the corresponding registration. The law shall regulate these associations and determine the conditions and requirements that establish them.
b) The authorities shall not intervene in the internal life of religious associations;
c) Mexicans can practice the ministry of any religious worship. Mexicans as well as foreigners must, in so doing, satisfy the requirements stipulated by law;
d) Under the terms of regulatory law, religious ministers may not hold public office. As citizens, they have the right to vote, but do not have the right to be elected to office. Those who have ceased to be ministers of religion with the intent and in the manner prescribed by law may be elected to office.
e) Ministers shall not consort for political purposes or proselytize in favor of or against any candidate, party or political association. Nor may they, in a public meeting, in the activities of their religion, in religious propaganda or in publications of a religious character, oppose the laws of the country or its institutions, or make an affront to national symbols in any way.
It is strictly prohibited to create any kind of political group whose name contains any word or indication whatsoever that is related to any religious denomination. Meetings of a political character cannot be held in houses of religious worship.
Failure to keep the simple promise to tell the truth and to fulfill contract obligations when they are made is subject to the penalties prescribed for this purpose by law.
Religious ministers, their ascendants, descendants, siblings and spouses, as well as the religious associations to which they belong, will be unable to receive inheritances under a will from the people whom the ministers have directed or aided spiritually and are not related to them within the fourth degree.
Their acts of a civil nature are under the exclusive purview of the administrative authorities in the terms established by law, and have the strength and validity attributed to them.
The federal, state and municipal authorities have the powers and duties in this area as prescribed by law.

[Note: The constitutional text hosted by the Political Database of the Americas is reproduced from official government 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 if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

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