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Features of Constitution1

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


Constitution Year 1993
Last Amended 2008
Source Rossiyskaya Gazeta
Translation Unofficial translation by ARDA staff from Russian source
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

Article 13

1. Ideological plurality is recognized in the Russian Federation.
2. No ideology may be instituted as state-sponsored or mandatory.
3. The Russian Federation recognizes political plurality and the multi-party system.
4. Public associations are equal before the law.
5. The creation and activities of public associations, whose aims and actions are directed at changing the constitutional order and violating the integrity of the Russian Federation and undermining state security, the formation of armed groups, and inciting social, racial, national and religious strife are prohibited.

Article 14

1. The Russian Federation is a secular state. No religion may be established as state-sponsored or mandatory.
2. Religious associations are separate from the state and are equal before the law.

Article 19

1. All people are equal before the law.
2. The state guarantees the equality of rights and freedoms of men and citizens regardless of gender, race, nationality, language, origin, property and official status, place of residence, attitude to religion, convictions, membership in public associations or any other factors. Any restrictions of the rights of citizens on social, racial, ethnic, linguistic or religious identities are forbidden.
3. Men and women have equal rights and freedoms and equal opportunities for self-actualization.

Article 28

Everyone is guaranteed the freedom of conscience and religion, including the right to profess, individually or jointly with others, any religion or no religion, to freely choose, possess and disseminate religious or other convictions, and to act in accordance with them.

Article 29

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought and speech.
2. Propaganda or campaigning to incite social, racial, national or religious hatred and enmity is impermissible. The propaganda of social, racial, national, religious or language supremacy is forbidden.
3. No one may be coerced into expressing one's views and convictions or to renounce them.
4. Everyone has the right to freely seek, receive, transfer, produce and disseminate information by any lawful means. The list of information constituting the state secret shall be determined by the federal law.
5. The freedom of the media is guaranteed. Censorship is prohibited.

Article 59

1. National defense is a duty and obligation of the citizens of the Russian Federation.
2. Citizens of the Russian Federation perform military service in accordance with federal law.
3. The citizen of the Russian Federation whose convictions or religious belief are at odds with military service, as well as in other cases stipulated by federal law, is entitled to substitute an alternative civil service for military service.


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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