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Features of Constitution1

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


Constitution Year 1992
Last Amended not amended
Source International Constitutional Law (ICL)
Translation Source is an English translation
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2


The Paraguayan people, through their legitimate representatives convening at the National Constituent Assembly, pleading to God, recognizing human dignity for the purpose of ensuring freedom, equality and justice, reaffirming the principles of a representative, participatory, pluralistic republican democracy, upholding national sovereignty and independence and joining the international community, hereby approve and promulgate this Constitution.

Article 24 (About Religious and Ideological Freedom)

(1) Freedom of religion, worship, and ideology is recognized without any restrictions other than those established in this Constitution and the law. The State has no official religion.
(2) Relations between the State and the Catholic Church are based on independence, cooperation, and autonomy.
(3) The independence and autonomy of all churches and religious denominations, without restrictions other than those imposed by this Constitution and the law, are hereby guaranteed.
(4) No one may be disturbed, questioned, or forced to give testimony by reason of his beliefs or ideology.

Article 37 (About the Right to Conscientious Objection)

The right to conscientious objection for ethical or religious reasons is hereby recognized for those cases in which this Constitution and the law permit it.

Article 43 (About the Right to Asylum)

(1) Paraguay recognizes the right to territorial and diplomatic asylum to anyone persecuted for political reasons or crimes or for related common crimes, as well as for his opinions or beliefs. Government authorities will have to immediately issue the respective personal and safe-conduct documents.
(2) No one who has been granted political asylum will be forced to go to the country whose authorities are persecuting him.

Article 63 (About Ethnic Identity)

The right of Indian peoples to preserve and to develop their ethnic identity in their respective habitat is hereby recognized and guaranteed. They also have the right to freely apply their systems of political, socioeconomic, cultural, and religious organization, and to voluntarily observe customary practices in their domestic coexistence as long as they do not violate the fundamental rights established by this Constitution. Indian customary rights will be taken into account when deciding conflicts of jurisdiction.

Article 74 (About the Right to Learn and the Freedom to Teach)

(1) The right to learn and to have equal access opportunities to the benefits of humanistic culture, of science, and of technology, without any discrimination, is hereby guaranteed.
(2) The freedom to teach, without any requirement other than having ethical integrity and being competent for the job, as well as the right to have a religious education and ideological pluralism are also guaranteed.

Article 82 (About Recognition of the Catholic Church)

The role played by the Catholic Church in the historical and cultural formation of the Republic is hereby recognized.

Article 88 (About Nondiscrimination)

(1) No discrimination will be permitted against workers for reasons of race, sex, age, religion, social status, and political or union preference.
(2) Special protection will be given to the work of physically or mentally handicapped individuals.

Article 129 (About Military Service)

(1) Every Paraguayan must be prepared for and must complete his services for the armed defense of the Fatherland.
(2) To this end, mandatory military service is hereby established. A law will regulate the conditions under which this duty will be discharged.
(3) Military service must be based on full respect of human dignity. In time of peace, it will not exceed 12 months.
(4) Women will not be required to provide military service but as aides, if necessary, during an armed international conflict.
(5) Those who declare conscientious objection will provide services to benefit the civilian population, in aid centers designated by law and operated under civilian jurisdiction. The law implementing the right to conscientious objection will be neither punitive nor impose burdens heavier than those imposed by military service.
(6) Personal military service, not determined by law or which is set up for the benefit or profit of private citizens or organizations, is hereby prohibited.
(7) The law will regulate the contribution of foreigners to national defense.

Article 197 (About Causes of Ineligibility)

(1) The following cannot be candidates for deputies or senators:
1. Those sentenced to a prison term by a final court decision until their prison term ends;
2. Those who, by virtue of a court decision, have been disqualified to hold public office, until the period of disqualification ends;
3. Those who have been sentenced for having committed electoral crimes until the term established by the sentence ends;
4. Judges, members of the Attorney General's Office, the Special Government Attorney for Patrimonial Affairs, the Ombudsman, the Comptroller General of the Republic, the Deputy Comptroller General, and members of the Superior Electoral Court;
5. Ministers or clergymen of any religion;
6. Representatives or proxies of national or foreign companies, corporations, or organizations that are concessionaires of services for the State or that administer projects or supply goods to the State;
7. Police or military personnel on active duty;
8. Candidates for president or vice president of the Republic; and
9. Owners or partners of mass media organizations;
(2) Those affected by the causes for ineligibility described in Sections 4 through 7 have until 90 days prior to the registration of electoral slates at the Superior Electoral Court to remove the ineligibility causes.

Article 235 (About Causes for Ineligibility)

(1) The following are ineligible to run as candidates for president or vice president of the Republic:
1. Cabinet ministers, vice ministers, under secretaries or officials of equivalent rank, directors general of public offices and presidents of councils; directors, managers, or general administrators of decentralized, self-supporting, autonomous, binational, or multinational state-owned companies, or those in which the State is a majority shareholder;
2. Judges and members of the Attorney General's Office;
3. The Public Defender, the Comptroller and Deputy Controller General of the Republic, the Special Government Attorney for Patrimonial Affairs, the president of Council for Magistrates, and members of the Superior Electoral Court;
4. Representatives or proxies of national or foreign companies, corporations or organizations that are concessionaires of services for the State or that execute projects or supply goods to the State;
5. Ministers or clergymen of any religion;
6. Mayors and governors;
7. Active duty personnel of the Armed Forces or of the National Police, except for those who retire at least one year prior to the day of election;
8. Owners or partners of communications media organizations; and
9. The spouse, blood relatives tot he fourth degree, or relatives by marriage to the second degree of the incumbent president or any who has held the presidential office for any length of time during the year preceding that of the election.
(2) In those cases falling under Section 1, 2, 3, and 6 of this article, the affected parties must resign and leave their respective offices at least six months before the day of the election, except for cases in which the vice presidency has been left permanently vacant.


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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