Papua New Guinea
 National Profiles > Regions > Melanesia > Papua New Guinea
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Western Christian

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Protestant (incl. Anglican, Pentecostal) (41.4%)

Features Of Constitution

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


Constitution Year4 1975
Last Amended4 not amended
Source4 World Intellectual Property Organization
Translation4 Original was written in English
Current as of4 May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)4


Adoption of Constitution
- united in one nation
- pay homage to the memory of our ancestors—the source of our strength and origin of our combined heritage
- acknowledge the worthy customs and traditional wisdoms of our people—which have come down to us from generation to generation
- pledge ourselves to guard and pass on to those who come after us our noble traditions and the Christian principles that are ours now.
By authority of our inherent right as ancient, free and independent peoples
WE, THE PEOPLE, do now establish this sovereign nation and declare ourselves, under the guiding hand of God, to be the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.

WE HEREBY PROCLAIM the following aims as our National Goals, and direct all persons and bodies, corporate and unincorporate, to be guided by these our declared Directives in pursuing and achieving our aims:–
…2. Equality and participation
We declare our second goal to be for all citizens to have an equal opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, the development of our country.
(1) an equal opportunity for every citizen to take part in the political, economic, social, religious and cultural life of the country; and
…(5) equal participation by women citizens in all political, economic, social and religious activities; and…

…5. Papua New Guinean ways
We declare our fifth goal to be to achieve development primarily through the use of Papua New Guinean forms of social, political and economic organization.
(1) a fundamental re-orientation of our attitudes and the institutions of government, commerce, education and religion towards Papua New Guinean forms of participation, consultation, and consensus, and a continuous renewal of the responsiveness of these institutions to the needs and attitudes of the People; and

…Basic Rights.
WE HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGE that, subject to any restrictions imposed by law on non-citizens, all persons in our country are entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever the race, tribe, places of origin, political opinion, color, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the legitimate public interest, to each of the following:–
(a) life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law; and
(b) the right to take part in political activities; and
(c) freedom from inhuman treatment and forced labor; and
(d) freedom of conscience, of expression, of information and of assembly and association; and
(e) freedom of employment and freedom of movement; and
(f) protection for the privacy of their homes and other property and from unjust deprivation of property,

7. Oath of Allegiance

Where a law requires an Oath of Allegiance or Affirmation of Allegiance to be made, it shall be made in the following form:–
"Oath of Allegiance.
I,..., do swear that I will well and truly serve and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Her heirs and successors according to law.
Affirmation of Allegiance.
I,..., do promise and affirm that I will well and truly serve Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Her heirs and successors according to law."

32. Right to Freedom

(1) Freedom based on law consists in the least amount of restriction on the activities of individuals that is consistent with the maintenance and development of Papua New Guinea and of society in accordance with this Constitution and, in particular, with the National Goals and Directive Principles and the Basic Social Obligations.
(2) Every person has the right to freedom based on law, and accordingly ha


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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