Azerbaijan
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Features of Constitution1

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

Constitution2

Constitution Year 1995
Last Amended 2009
Source UNHCR Refworld
Translation Source is an English translation
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

Article 7. Azerbaijani state

I. [The] Azerbaijani state is [a] democratic, legal, secular, unitary republic.


Article 18. Religion and state

I. Religion in the Azerbaijan Republic is separated from state. All religions are equal before the law.
II. Spreading and propaganda of religion (religious movements), humiliating people's dignity and contradicting the principles of humanism are prohibited.
III. [The] State educational system is secular.


Article 25. Right for equality

I. All people are equal with respect to the law and law court.
II. Men and women possess equal rights and liberties.
III. The state guarantees equality of rights and liberties of everyone, irrespective of race, nationality, religion, language, sex, origin, financial position, occupation, political convictions, membership in political parties, trade unions and other public organizations. Rights and liberties of a person, citizen [sic] cannot be restricted due to race, nationality, religion, language, sex, origin, conviction, political and social belonging.


Article 40. Right for culture

I. Everyone has the right to take part in cultural life, [and] to use organizations and values of culture.
II. Everyone must respect [the] historical, cultural and spiritual inheritance, take care of it, [and] protect historical and cultural memorials.


Article 47. Freedom of thought and speech

I. Everyone may enjoy freedom of thought and speech.
II. Nobody should be forced to promulgate his/her thoughts and convictions or to renounce his/her thoughts and convictions.
III. Propaganda provoking racial, national, religious and social discord and animosity is prohibited.


Article 48. Freedom of conscience

I. Everyone enjoys the freedom of conscience.
II. Everyone has the right to define his/her attitude to religion, to profess, individually or together with others, [to profess] any religion or to profess no religion, [and] to express and spread one's beliefs concerning religion.
III. Everyone is free to carry out religious rituals, however this should not violate public order and contradict public morals.
IV. Religious beliefs and convictions do not excuse infringements of the law.
V. No one shall be forced to express (to demonstrate) his or her religious faith and belief, [and] to execute religious rituals and participate and religious ceremonies.


Article 56. Electoral right

I. Citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic have the right to elect and be elected to state bodies and also to take part in referendum.
II. Those recognized incapable by law court have no right to take part in elections and in referendum [sic].
III. Participation in elections of military personnel, judges, state employees, religious officials, persons imprisoned by decision of law court, other persons specified in the present Constitution and laws might be restricted by law.


Article 71. Protection of rights and liberties of a human being and citizen

�IV. Nobody, in no circumstances may be forced to promulgate his/her religious and other beliefs, thoughts and to be persecuted for such.


Article 76. Defense of motherland

I. Defense of motherland is duty of any citizen. Citizens of the Republic serve in the army according to legislation.
II. If beliefs of citizens come into conflict with service in the army then in some cases envisaged by legislation alternative service instead of regular army service is permitted.


Article 85. Requirements to [sic] candidates to the posts of deputies of Milli Majlis [Parliament] of the Azerbaijan Republic

I. Every citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic not younger than 25 may be elected the deputy of Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic in an established order.
II. Persons having double citizenship, those having obligations to other states, those working in the bodies of executive or judicial power, persons involved in other payable activity except scientific, pedagogical and creative activity, religious men, persons whose incapacity has been confirmed by law court, those condemned for grave crime, [and those] serving a sentence due to verdict of law court may not be elected the deputies of Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic.


Article 89. Deprivation of deputies of Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic of their mandates and loss of powers by the deputy of the Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic

I. The deputy of Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic looses [sic] his/her mandate in the following cases:
1, whenever during the elections there was falsification in calculation of votes;
2. on giving up the citizenship of the Azerbaijan Republic or accepting other citizenship;
3. on commitment of crime and whenever there is [a] valid verdict of law court;
4. on taking position in state bodies, post in religious organizations, involvement in business, commercial or other paid activity (except scientific, pedagogical and creative activity);
5. on a voluntary basis;
Decision about deprivation of the deputy of Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic of his mandate is taken as specified in legislation.
II. Whenever deputies of Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic are not able to fulfill their obligations and in other cases specified by law their authority is considered terminated. Procedure of taking respective decision is determined by law.

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.