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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Shia

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Shia Muslim (65.8%)

Features Of Constitution

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


Constitution Year4 1995
Last Amended4 2009
Source4 UNHCR Refworld
Translation4 Source is an English translation
Current as of4 May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)4

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 Repub


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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