Rwanda
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Features of Constitution1

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

Constitution2

Constitution Year 2003
Last Amended 2008
Source Republic of Rwanda Ministry of Justice
Translation Original was written in English
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

Article 1

The Rwandan State is an independent, sovereign, democratic, social and secular Republic;
The principle governing the Republic is "government of the people, by the people and for the people."


Article 11

All Rwandans are born and remain free and equal in rights and duties.
Discrimination of whatever kind based on, inter alia, ethnic origin, tribe, clan, color, sex, region, social origin, religion or faith, opinion, economic status, culture, language, social status, physical or mental disability or any other form of discrimination is prohibited and punishable by law.


Article 33

Freedom of thought, opinion, conscience, religion, worship and the public manifestation thereof is guaranteed by the State in accordance with conditions determined by law.
Propagation of ethnic, regional, racial or discrimination or any other form of division is punishable by law.


Article 54

Political organizations are prohibited from basing themselves on race, ethnic group, tribe, clan, region, sex, religion or any other division which may give rise to discrimination.
Political organizations must constantly reflect the unity of the people of Rwanda and gender equality and complementality, whether in the recruitment of members, putting in place organs of leadership and in their operations and activities.


Article 61

Before taking office, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, the President of Supreme Court, the Prime Minister, Ministers, Ministers of State and other members of Government, the Vice Presidents of the Senate, the Deputy Speakers of the Chamber of Deputies, Senators, Deputies, Generals in the army and Senior officers of the Rwanda Defense Forces, Commissioners and Senior officers of the National Police, the Vice-President and Judges of the Supreme Court, the Presidents and Vice Presidents of the High Court and the Commercial High Court, the Prosecutor General, the Deputy Prosecutor General and such other persons as may be determined by law shall take oath in the following words:
"I,���������. solemnly swear to the Nation that I shall:
1� remain loyal to the Republic of Rwanda;
2� uphold the Constitution and other laws;
3� safeguard the basic individual human rights and the interests of the Rwandan people;
4� work for the consolidation of national unity;
5� diligently fulfil the responsibilities entrusted to me;
6� never use the powers conferred on me for personal ends.
Shall I fail to honor this oath, may I face the rigors of the law.
So help me God."


Article 104

Before assuming his/her duties in office, the President of the Republic shall take the oath of office before the President of the Supreme Court in the presence of both Chambers of Parliament in these words:

"I,����������. solemnly swear to the Nation that I shall:
1� remain loyal to the Republic of Rwanda;
2� observe and defend the Constitution and other laws;
3� diligently fulfil the responsibilities entrusted to me;
4� preserve peace and territorial integrity;
5� consolidate national unity of Rwandans;
6� never use the powers conferred on me for personal ends;
7� safeguard the interests of the Rwandan people.
Shall I fail to honor this oath, may I face the rigors of the law.
So help me God."
The President of the Republic shall be sworn in no later than one month after his/her election. His/her oath of office shall be administered by the President of the Supreme Court.


Article 137

�A declaration of a state of siege or of a state of emergency shall not under any circumstances violate the right to life and physical integrity of the person, the rights accorded to people by law in relation to their status, capacity and nationality; the principle of non-retroactivity of criminal law, the right to legal defense and freedom of conscience and religion.

Sources

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 arda@pop.psu.edu if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.