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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Sunni

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Sunni Muslim (89%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 Yes
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 No


Constitution Year4 2004
Last Amended4 not amended
Source4 International Constitutional Law (ICL)
Translation4 Source is an English translation
Current as of4 May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)4


We the people of Afghanistan:
1. With firm faith in God Almighty and relying on His lawful mercy, and Believing in the Sacred religion of Islam
…3. While acknowledging the sacrifices and the historic struggles, rightful Jehad and just resistance of all people of Afghanistan, and respecting the high position of the martyrs for the freedom of Afghanistan,

Article 1 [Islamic Republic]

Afghanistan is an Islamic Republic, independent, unitary and indivisible state.

Article 2 [Religions]

(1) The religion of the state of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is the sacred religion of Islam.
(2) Followers of other religions are free to exercise their faith and perform their religious rites within the limits of the provisions of law.

Article 3 [Law and Religion]

In Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.

Article 17 [Education]

The state shall adopt necessary measures for promotion of education in all levels, development of religious education, organizing and improving the conditions of mosques, madrasas and religious centers.

Article 18 [Calendar]

(1) The calendar of the country shall be based on the flight of the Prophet (PBUH).
(2) The basis of work for state offices is the solar calendar.
(3) Fridays and the 28 Asad and the 8 Sawr are public holidays. Other holidays shall be regulated by law.

Article 19 [Flag, Insignia, Emblem]

(1) The Afghan flag is made up of three equal parts, with black, red and green colors juxtaposed from left to right perpendicularly.
(2) The width of every colored piece is equal to half of its length. The national insignia is located in the center of the flag.
(3) The national insignia of the state of Afghanistan is composed of Mehrab and pulpit in white color.
(4) Two flags are located on its two sides. In the upper-middle part of the insignia the sacred phrase of "There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his prophet, and Allah is Great" is placed, along with a rising sun. The word "Afghanistan" and year 1298 (solar calendar) is located in the lower part of the insignia. The insignia is encircled with two branches of wheat.
(5) The law shall regulate the use of national flag and emblem.

Article 20 [Anthem]

The National Anthem of Afghanistan shall be in Pashtu and mention "Allahu Akbar" and the names of the ethnic groups of Afghanistan.

Article 23 [Life]

Life is a gift of God and a natural right of human beings. No one shall be deprived of this right except by the provision of law.

Article 35 [Organizations, Parties]

(1) The citizens of Afghanistan have the right to form social organizations for the purpose of securing material or spiritual aims in accordance with the provisions of the law.
(2) The citizens of Afghanistan have the right to form political parties in accordance with the provisions of the law, provided that:
-- The program and charter of the party are not contrary to the principles of sacred religion of Islam, and the provisions and values of this Constitution.

-- The organizational structure, and financial sources of the party are made public.
-- The party does not have military or paramilitary aims and structures.
-- The party should have no affiliation to a foreign political party or sources.
(3) Formation and functioning of a party based on ethnicity, language, Islamic school of thought (mazhab-i fiqhi) and region is not permissible.
(4) A party set up in accordance with provisions of the law shall not be dissolved without lawful reasons and the decision of an authorized court.

Article 45 [Unified Educational Curriculum]


1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports the estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. The RCS was created to fulfill the unmet need for a dataset on the religious dimensions of countries of the world, with the state-year as the unit of observation. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivision within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

3.  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.

4.  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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