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Features of Constitution1

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


Constitution Year 1990
Last Amended 2004
Source UNHCR Refworld
Translation Source is an English translation
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

Article 12: Lay State

1. The Republic of Mozambique shall be a lay State.
2. The lay nature of the State rests on the separation between the State and religious denominations.
3. Religious denominations shall have organizational freedom, freedom to carry out their functions and freedom of worship, and they shall conform to the laws of the State.
4. The State shall recognize and esteem the activities of religious denominations in order to promote a climate of understanding, tolerance and peace, the strengthening of national unity, the material and spiritual well being of citizens, and economic and social development.

Article 35: Principle of Universality

All citizens are equal before the law, and they shall enjoy the same rights and be subject to the same duties, regardless of color, race, sex, ethnic origin, place of birth, religion, level of education, social position, the marital status of their parents, their profession or their political preference.

Article 39: Acts against National Unity

All acts intended to undermine national unity, to disturb social harmony or to create divisions or situations of privilege or discrimination based on color, race, sex, ethnic origin, place of birth, religion, level of education, social position, physical or mental ability, the marital status of one’s parents, profession or political preference, shall be punished in terms of the law

Article 54: Freedom of Conscience, Religion and Worship

1. All citizens shall have the freedom to practice or not to practice a religion.
2. Nobody shall be discriminated against, persecuted, prejudiced, deprived of his or her rights, or benefit from or be exempt from duties, on the grounds of his faith or religious persuasion or practice.
3. Religious denominations shall have the right to pursue their religious aims freely and to own and acquire assets for realizing their objectives.
4. The protection of places of worship shall be ensured.
5. The right to conscientious objection shall be guaranteed in terms of the law.

Article 71: Use of Computerized Data

1. The use of computerized means for recording and processing individually identifiable data in respect of political, philosophical or ideological beliefs, of religious faith, party or trade union affiliation or private lives, shall be prohibited.

Article 76: Names

Political parties shall be prohibited from using names containing expressions that are directly related to any religious denominations or churches, and from using emblems that may be confused with national or religious symbols.

Article 86: Freedom of Professional Associations and Unions

…3. Professional associations and trade unions shall be independent from employers, from the State, from political parties and from churches or religious denominations.
4. The law shall regulate the creation, merger, alliance and dissolution of professional associations and trade unions, as well as the guarantees of their autonomy and independence from employers, from the State, from political parties and from churches and religious denominations.

Article 113: Education

1. The Republic of Mozambique shall promote an educational strategy that aims towards national unity, wiping out illiteracy, mastering science and technology, and providing citizens with moral and civic values.
2. The State shall organize and develop education through a national system of education.
3. Public education shall not pertain to any religion.
4. Education provided by collective and other private entities shall be administered in accordance with the law and shall be subject to State control
5. The State shall not plan education and culture in accordance with any specific philosophical, aesthetic, political, ideological or religious guidelines.

Article 119: Family

1. The family is the fundamental unit and the basis of society.
2. The State shall, in accordance with the law, recognize and protect marriage as the institution that secures the pursuit of family objectives.
3. In the context of the development of social relations based on respect for human dignity, the State shall guarantee the principle that marriage is based on free consent.
4. The law shall establish forms in which traditional and religious marriage shall be esteemed, and determine the registration requirements and effects of such marriage.

Article 251: Access and Statute of Officers

1. Access to public office shall not be obstructed on grounds of color, race, sex, religion, ethnic or social origin, or party-political preference, and shall adhere strictly to the criteria of the merit and ability of applicants.

Article 286: Limits of the Declaration

The declaration of a state of siege or a state of emergency shall in no event restrict or suspend the right to life, the right to personal integrity, the right to civil capacity and to citizenship, the non-retroactivity of criminal law, the right of accused persons to a defense, and freedom of religion.

Article 292: Restrictions as to Subject Matter

1. Constitutional amendment laws shall have to respect the following:
…c) the separation between religious denominations and the State;


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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