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Features of Constitution1

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


Constitution Year 1976
Last Amended 2005
Source Assembly of the Republic of Portugal
Translation Source is an English translation
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

Article 13 (Principle of Equality)

(1) Every citizen shall possess the same social dignity and shall be equal before the law.
(2) No one shall be privileged, favored, prejudiced, deprived of any right or exempted from any duty on the basis of ancestry, sex, race, language, place of origin, religion, political or ideological beliefs, education, economic situation, social circumstances or sexual orientation.

Article 19 (Suspension of the Exercise of Rights)

...(6) Under no circumstances shall a declaration of a state of siege or a state of emergency affect the rights to life, personal integrity, personal identity, civil capacity and citizenship, the non-retroactivity of the criminal law, defendants’ right to a defense, or freedom of conscience and religion.

Article 35 (Use of Computers)

...(3) Computers shall not be used to treat data concerning philosophical or political convictions, party or trade union affiliations, religious beliefs, private life or ethnic origins, save with the express consent of the datasubject, with authorization provided for by law and with guarantees of non-discrimination, or for the purpose of processing statistical data that cannot be individually identified.

Article 38 (Freedom of the Press and the Media)

(1) The freedom of the press shall safeguarded.
(2) Freedom of the press shall mean:
a) Journalists and other staff’s freedom of expression and creativity, as well as journalists’ freedom to take part in determining the editorial policy of the media body in question, save when it is doctrinal or denominational in nature;

Article 41 (Freedom of Conscience, Religion and Worship)

(1) Freedom of conscience, religion and worship shall be inviolable.
(2) No one may be persecuted, deprived of rights or exempted from civil obligations or duties because of his convictions or religious observance.
(3) No authority shall question anyone in relation to his convictions or religious observance, save in order to gather statistical data that cannot be individually identified, nor shall anyone be prejudiced in any way for refusing to answer.
(4) Churches and other religious communities shall be separate from the state and free to organize themselves and to perform their own ceremonies and their worship.
(5) Freedom to teach any religion within the denomination in question and to use appropriate media for the pursuit of its activities shall be guaranteed.
(6) The right to be a conscientious objector, as laid down by law, shall be guaranteed.

Article 43 (Freedom to Learn and Teach)

(1) The freedom to learn and to teach shall be guaranteed.
(2) The state may not lay down educational and cultural programs in accordance with any philosophical, aesthetic, political, ideological, or religious directives..
(3) Public education shall not be denominational.
(4) The right to create private and cooperative schools shall be guaranteed.

Article 51 (Political Associations and Parties)

(1) Freedom of association shall include the right to form or take part in political associations and parties and through them to work jointly and democratically towards the formation of the popular will and the organization of political power.
(2) No one shall be simultaneously registered as a member of more than one political party, and no one shall be deprived of the exercise of any right because he is or ceases to be registered as a member of any legally constituted party.
(3) Without prejudice to the philosophy or ideology that underlies their manifestoes, political parties shall not employ names that contain expressions which are directly related to any religion or church, or emblems that can be confused with national or religious symbols.
(4) No party shall be formed with a name or manifesto that possesses a regional nature or scope.
(5) Political parties shall be governed by the principles of transparency, democratic organization and management, and participation by all their members.
(6) The law shall lay down the rules governing the financing of political parties, particularly as regards the requirements for an limits on public funding, as well as the requirements to publicize their assets and accounts.

Article 55 (Freedom Concerning Trade Unions)

...(4) Trade unions shall be independent of employers, the state, religious denominations, and parties and other political associations, and the law shall lay down guarantees as may be appropriate to that independence, which is fundamental to the unity of the working classes.

Article 59 (Workers’ Rights)

(1) Regardless of age, sex, race, citizenship, place of origin, religion and political and ideological convictions, every worker shall possess the right:
a) To the remuneration of his work in accordance with its volume, nature and quality, with respect for the principle of equal pay for equal work and in such a way as to guarantee a proper living;
b) That work be organized in keeping with social dignity and in such a way as to provide personal self-fulfillment and to make it possible to reconcile professional and family life;
c) To work in conditions that are hygienic, safe and healthy;
d) To rest and leisure time, a maximum limit on the working day, a weekly rest period and periodic paid holidays;
e) To material assistance when he involuntarily finds himself unemployed;
f) To assistance and fair reparation when he is the victim of a work-related accident or occupational illness.

Article 276 (Defense of the Nation, Military Service and Civic Service)

...(4) Conscientious objectors who by law are subject to the performance of military service shall perform civic service with the same duration and degree of arduousness as armed military service.

Article 288 (Matters in Which Revision Shall Be Restricted)

Constitutional revision laws shall respect:
...c) The separation between church and state;


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 support@thearda.com if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

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