Tuvalu
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Protestant

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Protestant (incl. Anglican, Pentecostal) (67.5%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 yes
Does the constitution state an official religion?3 yes [Preamble]
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 yes [Section 23(1-2)]
Does the constitution protect religious equality/non-discrimination?3 yes [Sections 11(1), 27(1-2)]

Constitution

Constitution Year3 1986
Last Amended3 2010
Source3 Constitute Project
Translation3 Original was written in English, edited by ARDA staff.
Current as of3 November 13, 2018

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)3

...

AND WHEREAS the people of Tuvalu, acknowledging God as the Almighty and Everlasting Lord and giver of all good things, humbly place themselves under His good providence and seek His blessing upon themselves and their lives;

AND WHEREAS the people of Tuvalu desire to constitute themselves as an independent State based on Christian principles, the Rule of Law, and Tuvaluan custom and tradition;

...

PRINCIPLES OF THE CONSTITUTION

...

(2) The right of the people of Tuvalu, both present and future, to a full, free and happy life, and to moral, spiritual, personal and material welfare, is affirmed as one given to them by God.

(3) ... with gratitude to God ...

...

(5) ...

• the need for mutual respect and co-operation between the different kinds of authorities concerned, including ... the religious authorities.

...

THESE PRINCIPLES, under the guidance of God, are solemnly adopted ...

Section 10. Freedom under law.

...

(3) This section is not intended to deny the existence, nature or effect of ... religious obligations ..., or to prevent such obligations being given effect by law if, and so far as, it may be thought appropriate to do so.

Section 11. The fundamental human rights and freedoms.

(1) Every person in Tuvalu is entitled, whatever his ... religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs ..., to the following fundamental rights and freedoms:---

...

[Here follow enumerated rights, including:]

(e) freedom of belief (see section 23); ...

...

...

Section 23. Freedom of belief.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Part, and in particular to---

(a) the succeeding provisions of this section; and

(b) section 29 (protection of Tuvaluan values, etc.); and

(c) section 31 (disciplined forces of Tuvalu); and

(d) section 32 (foreign disciplined forces); and

(e) section 33 (hostile disciplined forces); and

(f) section 36 (restrictions on certain rights and freedoms during public emergencies), except with his consent no-one shall be hindered in the exercise of his freedom of belief.

(2) For the purposes of this section, freedom of belief includes---

(a) freedom of thought, religion and belief; and

(b) freedom to change religion or belief; and

(c) freedom, either alone or with others, to show and to spread, both in public and in private, a religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

(3) A religious community is entitled, at its own expense---

(a) to establish and maintain places of education; and

(b) subject to the maintenance of any minimum prescribed educational standards, to manage any place of education that it wholly maintains; and

(c) subject to subsection (4), to provide religious instruction for members of the community in the course of any education that it provides.

(4) Except with his consent, no-one attending a place of education shall be required---

(a) to receive religious instruction; or

(b) to take part in or attend a religious ceremony or observance, if the instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion or belief other than his own.

(5) No-one shall be compelled---

(a) to take an oath or make an affirmation that is contrary to his religion or belief, or

(b) to take an oath or make an affirmation in any manner that is contrary to his religion or belief.

(6) Nothing in or done under a law shall be considered to be inconsistent with this section to the extent that the law makes provision which is reasonably required---

(a) in the interests of---

(i) defence; or

(ii) public safety; or

(iii) public order; or

(iv) public morality; or

(v) public health; or

(b) for the purpose of protecting the rights or freedoms of other persons, including the right to observe and practise any religion or belief without the unsolicited intervention of members of any other religion or belief.

(7) Nothing in or done under a law shall be considered to be inconsistent with this section to the extent that the law makes reasonable provision---

(a) requiring a person who proves that he has a conscientious objection to performing some reasonable and normal traditional, communal or civic obligation, or to performing it at a particular time or in a particular way, to perform instead, some reasonably equivalent service of benefit to the community; or

(b) for the exclusion of such a person and his household from any benefit arising out of the performance of those obligations by others until the equivalent service has been performed.

(8) The protection given by this section to freedom of religion or belief applies equally to freedom not to have or hold a particular religion or belief, or any religion or belief.

(9) A reference in this section to a religion includes a reference to a religious denomination and to the beliefs of a religion or religious denomination.

Section 27. Freedom from discrimination.

(1) In this section, discrimination refers to the treatment of different people in different ways wholly or mainly because of their different---

...

(e) religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs, in such a way that one such person is for some such reason given more favourable treatment or less favourable treatment than another such person.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Part, and in particular to---

(a) the succeeding provisions of this section; and

...

[Here follow technical exceptions for armed forces, public emergencies, and others]

no-one shall be treated in a discriminatory manner.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply to a law so far as it makes provision---

... [for taxation, spending, non-citizens]

(d) in respect of---

(i) adoption; or

(ii) marriage; or

(iii) divorce; or

(iv) burial; or

(v) any other such matter,

in accordance with the personal law, beliefs or customs of any person or group; ...

... [other technical exceptions, including affirmative action]

...

(6) Nothing in or done under a law shall be considered to be inconsistent with subsection (2) to the extent that the law provides that any person may be subjected to any restriction on the rights and freedoms guaranteed by---

...

(b) section 23 (freedom of belief); ...

...

...

Section 29. Protection of Tuvaluan values, etc.

(1) The Preamble acknowledges that Tuvalu is an Independent State based on Christian principles, the Rule of Law, Tuvaluan values, culture and tradition, and respect for human dignity.

(2) This includes recognition of---

(a) the right to worship, or not to worship, in whatever way the conscience of the individual tells him; and

(b) the right to hold, to receive and to communicate opinions, ideas and information.

...

(4) It may therefore be necessary in certain circumstances to regulate or place some restrictions on the exercise of those rights, if their exercise---

(a) may be divisive, unsettling or offensive to the people; or

(b) may directly threaten Tuvaluan values or culture.

(5) Subject to section 15 (definition of "reasonably justifiable in a democratic society") nothing contained in a law or done under a law shall be considered to be inconsistent with section 23 (freedom of belief); ...; to the extent the law makes provision regulating or placing restrictions on any exercise of the right---

(a) to spread beliefs; or

(b) to communicate opinions, ideas and information; if the exercise of that right may otherwise conflict with subsection (4).

Section 36. Restrictions on certain rights and freedoms during public emergencies.

Nothing in or done under a law shall be considered to be inconsistent with---

...

(d) section 23 (freedom of belief); ...

...

to the extent that the law---

(i) makes any provision, in relation to a period of public emergency; or

(j) authorizes the doing, during any such period, of any thing that is reasonably justifiable for the purpose of dealing with any situation that arises or exists during that period.

Section 48. The Sovereign of Tuvalu.

(1) ... by the grace of God Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her Other Realms and Possessions ...

...


Sources

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, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports annual estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivisions 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, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

3.  Text from country constitutions was copied from primary documents obtained online using a variety of sources, including the Constitute Project, World Constitutions Illustrated, and government sources. When the text was in a language other than English, it was translated to English by ARDA staff or with web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to differentiate religious content from non-religious content. Text is current to 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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