Bangladesh
 National Profiles > > Regions > South-Central Asia > Bangladesh
Search National Profiles:

Features of Constitution1

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

Constitution2

Constitution Year 1972
Last Amended 2004
Source Bangladesh Parliament
Translation Source is an English translation
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

(In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful)

PREAMBLE

We, the people of Bangladesh, having proclaimed our Independence on the 26th day of March, 1971 and through a historic war for national independence, established the independent, sovereign People's Republic of Bangladesh;
Pledging that the high ideals of absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah, nationalism, democracy and socialism meaning economic and social justice, which inspired our heroic people to dedicate themselves to, and our brave martyrs to sacrifice their lives in the war for national independence, shall be fundamental principles of the Constitution;
Further pledging that it shall be a fundamental aim of the State to realize through the democratic process to socialist society, free from exploitation-a society in which the rule of law, fundamental human rights and freedom, equality and justice, political, economic and social, will be secured for all citizens;
Affirming that it is our sacred duty to safeguard, protect and defend this Constitution and to maintain its supremacy as the embodiment of the will of the people of Bangladesh so that we may prosper in freedom and may make our full contribution towards international peace and co-operation in keeping with the progressive aspirations of mankind;
In our Constituent Assembly, this eighteenth day of Kartick, 1379 B.S corresponding to the fourth day of November, 1972 A.D., do hereby adopt, enact and give to ourselves this Constitution.


2A. The state religion.

The state religion of the Republic is Islam, but other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony in the Republic.


8. Fundamental principles.

(1) The principles of absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah, nationalism, democracy and socialism meaning economic and social justice, together with the principles derived from them as set out in this Part, shall constitute the fundamental principles of state policy.
(1A). Absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah shall be the basis of all actions.
(2) The principles set out in this Part shall be fundamental to the governance of Bangladesh, shall be applied by the State in the making of laws, shall be a guide to the interpretation of the Constitution and of the other laws of Bangladesh, and shall form the basis of the work of the State and of its citizens, but shall not be judicially enforceable.


25. Promotion of international peace, security and solidarity

�(2) The State shall endeavor to consolidate, preserve and strengthen fraternal relations among Muslim countries based on Islamic solidarity.


28. Discrimination on grounds of religion, etc.

(1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
(2) Women shall have equal rights with men in all spheres of the State and of public life.
(3) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth be subjected to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to access to any place of public entertainment or resort, or admission to any educational institution.
(4) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making special provision in favor of women or children or for the advancement of any backward section of citizens.


29. Equality of opportunity in public employment.

(1) There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in respect of employment or office in the service of the Republic.
(2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of, any employment or office in the service of the Republic.
(3) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from -
(a) making special provision in favor of any backward section of citizens for the purpose of securing their adequate representation in the service of the Republic;
(b) giving effect to any law which makes provision for reserving appointments relating to any religious or denominational institution to persons of that religion or denomination;
(c) reserving for members of one sex any class of employment or office on the ground that it is considered by its nature to be unsuited to members of the opposite sex.


39. Freedom of thought and conscience, and of speech.

(1) Freedom of thought and conscience is guaranteed.
(2) Subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interests of the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offense-
(a) the right of every citizen of freedom of speech and expression; and
(b) freedom of the press, are guaranteed.


41. Freedom of religion.

(1) Subject to law, public order and morality-
(a) every citizen has the right to profess, practice or propagate any religion;
(b) every religious community or denomination has the right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions.
(2) No person attending any educational institution shall be required to receive religious instruction, or to take part in or to attend any religious ceremony or worship, if that instruction, ceremony or worship relates to a religion other than his own.


121. Single electoral roll for each constituency

There shall be one electoral roll for each constituency for the purposes of elections to Parliament, and no special electoral roll shall be prepared so as to classify electors according to religion, race, caste or sex.

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.