Bahamas, The
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Extended Protestant

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Protestant (incl. Anglican, Pentecostal) (72.6%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 yes
Does the constitution state an official religion?3 not stated
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 yes [Article 22]
Does the constitution protect religious equality/non-discrimination?3 yes [Article 15]

Constitution

Constitution Year3 1973
Last Amended3 2017
Source3 Government of the Bahamas;
Translation3 Original was written in English.
Current as of3 July 6, 2018

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)3

Preamble

… recognizing that the preservation of their Freedom will be guaranteed by a national commitment to Self-discipline, Industry, Loyalty, Unity and an abiding respect for Christian values and the Rule of Law; … recognizing the Supremacy of God … AND DO HEREBY PROVIDE by these Articles for the indivisible Unity and Creation under God of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

Article 15. Fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual.

Whereas every person in The Bahamas is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, has the right, whatever his … creed … but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely—

(b) freedom of conscience,

Article 22. Protection of freedom of conscience.

(1) Except with his consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of conscience, and for the purposes of this Article the said freedom includes freedom of thought and of religion, freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others, and both in public and in private, to manifest and propagate his religion of belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

(2) Except with his consent (or, if he is a person who has not attained the age of eighteen years, the consent of his guardian) no person attending any place of education shall be required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or attend any religious ceremony or observance of that instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion other than his own.

(3) No religious body or denomination shall be prevented from or hindered in providing religious instruction for persons of that body of denomination in the course of any education provided by that body or denomination whether or not that body or denomination is in receipt of any government subsidy, grant or other form of financial assistance designed to meet, in whole or in part, the cost of such course of education.

(4) No person shall be compelled to take any oath which is contrary to his religion or belief of to take any oath in a manner which is contrary to his religion or belief.

(5) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this Article to the extent that the law in question makes provision which is reasonably required—

(a) in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or

(b) for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons, including the right to observe and practice any religion without the unsolicited interference of member of any other religion, and except so far as that provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.

Article 26. Protection from discrimination on the grounds of race, etc.

(1) … no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

(3) In this Article, the expression "discriminatory" means affording different treatment to different person attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by … creed …

(5) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of paragraph (1) of this Article to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being a standard or qualification specifically relating to … creed) in order to be eligible for service as a public officer or as a member of a disciplined force of for the service of a local government authority or a body corporate established by law for public purposes.


Sources

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, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports annual estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivisions 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, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

3.  Text from country constitutions was copied from primary documents obtained online using a variety of sources, including the Constitute Project, World Constitutions Illustrated, and government sources. When the text was in a language other than English, it was translated to English by ARDA staff or with web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to differentiate religious content from non-religious content. Text is current to the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at support@thearda.com if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

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