Samoa
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Features of Constitution1

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

Constitution2

Constitution Year 1960
Last Amended 2000
Source The Parliament of Samoa
Translation Original was written in English
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

Preamble

IN THE HOLY NAME OF GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, THE EVER LOVING
WHEREAS sovereignty over the Universe belongs to the Omni-present God alone, and the authority to be exercised by the people of Samoa within the limits prescribed by His commandments is a sacred heritage
;
WHEREAS the Leaders of Samoa have declared that Samoa should be an Independent State based on Christian principles and Samoan custom and tradition;


8. Freedom from forced labor

(1) No person shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labor
. (2) For the purposes of this Article, the term "forced or compulsory labor" shall not include -
�(b) Any service of a military character or, in the case of conscientious objectors, service exacted instead of compulsory military service; or


11. Freedom of religion

(1) Every person has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others, and, in public or private, to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
(2) Nothing in clause (1) shall affect the operation of any existing law or prevent the State from making any law in so far as that existing law or the law so made imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred under the provisions of that clause in the interests of national security or of public order, health or morals, or for protecting the rights and freedom of others, including their rights and freedom to observe and practice their religion without the unsolicited interference of members of other religions.


12. Rights concerning religious instruction

(1) No person attending any educational institution shall be required to receive religious instruction or take part in any religious ceremony or attend religious worship, if that instruction, ceremony or worship relates to a religion other than his own.
(2) Every religious community or denomination shall have the right to establish and maintain educational institutions of its own choice and to provide therein religious instruction for pupils of that community or denomination.
(3) Nothing in clause (2) shall prevent the State from making any law requiring the inspection of educational institutions and the maintenance therein of standards in keeping with the general educational level in Samoa.


15. Freedom of discriminatory legislation

(1) All persons are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection under the law.
(2) Except as expressly authorized under the provisions of this Constitution, no law and no executive or administrative action of the State shall, either expressly or in its practical application, subject any person or persons to any disability or restriction or confer on any person or persons any privilege or advantage on grounds only of descent, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, social origin, place of birth, family status, or any of them.


Third Schedule: Forms of Oath

1. Oath of Head of State

I, ................................................................................., swear by Almighty God that I will uphold the dignity of the office of Head of State, and will justly and faithfully carry out my duties in the administration of the Independent State of Samoa in accordance with the Constitution and the law. So help me God.


2. Oath of Members of the Council of Deputies

I, ............................................................................, swear by Almighty God that I will well and truly serve the Independent State of Samoa, and will justly and faithfully carry out my duties as a member of the Council of Deputies in accordance with the Constitution and the law. So help me God.


3. Oath of the Prime Minister and other Ministers

I, ............................................................................, being chosen and accepted as Prime Minister [a Minister] and member of Cabinet swear by Almighty God that I will to the best of my judgment, at all times when thereto required, freely give my counsel and advice to the Head of State, for the good management of the affairs of the Independent State of Samoa, and that I will not directly or indirectly reveal such matters as shall be debated in Cabinet and Committee and in Executive Council and committed to my secrecy, but that I will in all things be a true and faithful Prime Minister [Minister]. So help me God.


4. Oath of allegiance to be taken and subscribed by the Speaker and Members of Parliament

I, ......................................................................., swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Independent State of Samoa, and that I will justly and faithfully carry out my duties as a Member of the Parliament of Samoa. So help me God.


5. Judicial oath to be taken by Judges of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal

I, ....................................................................., swear by Almighty God that I will well and truly serve the Independent State of Samoa in accordance with the Constitution and the law, and I will do right to all manner of people, without fear or favor, affection or ill will. So help me God.

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.