National Profiles > Regions > South-Central Asia > Turkmenistan
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Sunni

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Sunni Muslim (94.5%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 Yes
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 Yes


Constitution Year4 2008
Last Amended4 not amended
Source4 Turkmenistan: The Golden Age Online Newspaper
Translation4 Unofficial translation by ARDA staff from Russian source
Current as of4 May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)4


We, the people of Turkmenistan, based on our inalienable right to determine our destiny, based on the responsibility for the present and future of the Fatherland, loyal to the precepts of our ancestors of living in unity, peace and harmony, aiming to protect national values and interests, strengthening the independence, sovereignty, and Turkmenistan’s status of permanent neutrality, guaranteeing the rights and freedoms of every person and citizen, and seeking to ensure civil peace and national accord in the society, to establish the foundations of democracy and a democratic, secular state, accept the present Constitution – the Fundamental Law of Turkmenistan.

Article 1

Turkmenistan is a democratic, legal and secular state in which the government is in the form of a presidential republic. Turkmenistan has supreme control and absolutely authority over its territory and independently carries out its domestic and foreign policy. State sovereignty and the territory of Turkmenistan are united and indivisible. The State shall protect the independence and territorial integrity of Turkmenistan and the constitutional system, and shall safeguard the rule of law. Turkmenistan, by law, has the status of permanent neutrality. The United Nations General Assembly Resolution "Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan" dated 12 December 1995: "1. Recognizes and supports Turkmenistan’s declared status of permanent neutrality, 2. Calls upon the member states of the United Nations to respect and maintain Turkmenistan’s status and also to respect its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity." As recognized by the international community, the permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan is the basis of its domestic and foreign policy.

Article 12

The state guarantees freedom of religions and their equality before the law. Religious organizations are separate from the state, cannot interfere in the state affairs and cannot carry out state functions. The public education system is separate from religious organizations and is secular in nature. Each person determines his attitude toward religion, has the right to, solely or jointly with others, have a religion or no religion, has the right to express and disseminate beliefs associated with his attitude toward religion, and has the right to participate in religious worship, rituals and ceremonies.

Article 19

Turkmenistan guarantees the equality of rights and freedoms of individuals and the equality of man and citizen before the law regardless of nationality, race, sex, birth, property and official status, place of residence, language, religion, political beliefs, party affiliation or lack of affiliation with any party.

Article 30

Citizens have the right to form political parties and other public associations acting under the framework of the Constitution and the laws. Formation and operation of political parties or other public or paramilitary organizations that aim to change the constitutional order, act violently, oppose the constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens, advocate for war, racial, ethnic or religious hostility, encroach on the health and morality of the people, or are based on ethnic or religious attributes is forbidden.


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 support@thearda.com if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

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