Serbia
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Features of Constitution1

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

Constitution2

Constitution Year 2006
Last Amended not amended
Source Government of the Republic of Serbia
Translation Source is an English translation
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

Article 5: Political Parties

The role of political parties in democratic shaping of the political will of the citizens shall be guaranteed and recognized.
Political parties may be established freely.
Activities of political parties aiming at forced overthrow of constitutional system, violation of guaranteed human or minority rights, inciting racial, national or religious hatred, shall be prohibited.
Political parties may not exercise power directly or submit it to their control.


Article 11: Secularity of the State

The Republic of Serbia is a secular state.
Churches and religious communities shall be separated from the state.
No religion may be established as state or mandatory religion.


Article 21: Prohibition of Discrimination

All are equal before the Constitution and law.
Everyone shall have the right to equal legal protection, without discrimination.
All direct or indirect discrimination based on any grounds, particularly on race, sex, national origin, social origin, birth, religion, political or other opinion, property status, culture, language, age, mental or physical disability shall be prohibited.
Special measures which the Republic of Serbia may introduce to achieve full equality of individuals or group of individuals in a substantially unequal position compared to other citizens shall not be deemed discrimination.


Article 39: Freedom of Movement

Everyone shall have the right to free movement and residence in the Republic of Serbia, as well as the right to leave and return.
Freedom of movement and residence, as well as the right to leave the Republic of Serbia may be restricted by the law if necessary for the purpose of conducting criminal proceedings, protection of public order, prevention of spreading contagious diseases or defense of the Republic of Serbia.
Entry and stay of foreign nationals in the Republic of Serbia shall be regulated by the law. A foreign national may be expelled only under decision of the competent body, in a procedure stipulated by the law and if time to appeal has been provided for him and only when there is no threat of persecution based on his race, sex, religion, national origin, citizenship, association with a social group, political opinions, or when there is no threat of serious violation of rights guaranteed by this Constitution.


Article 43: Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion

Freedom of thought, conscience, beliefs and religion shall be guaranteed, as well as the right to stand by one�s belief or religion or change them by choice.
No person shall have the obligation to declare his religious or other beliefs.
Everyone shall have the freedom to manifest their religion or religious beliefs in worship, observance, practice and teaching, individually or in community with others, and to manifest religious beliefs in private or public.
Freedom of manifesting religion or beliefs may be restricted by law only if that is necessary in a democratic society to protect lives and health of people, morals of democratic society, freedoms and rights guaranteed by the Constitution, public safety and order, or to prevent inciting of religious, national, and racial hatred.
Parents and legal guardians shall have the right to ensure religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.


Article 44: Churches and Religious Communities

Churches and religious communities are equal and separated from the state.
Churches and religious communities shall be equal and free to organize independently their internal structure, religious matters, to perform religious rites in public, to establish and manage religious schools, social and charity institutions, in accordance with the law.
Constitutional Court may ban a religious community only if its activities infringe the right to life, right to mental and physical health, the rights of child, right to personal and family integrity, public safety and order, or if it incites religious, national or racial intolerance.


Article 45: Conscientious Objection

No person shall be obliged to perform military or any other service involving the use of weapons if this opposes his religion or beliefs.
Any person pleading conscientious objection may be called upon to fulfill military duty without the obligation to carry weapons, in accordance with the law.


Article 48: Promotion of Respect for Diversity

The Republic of Serbia shall promote understanding, recognition and respect of diversity arising from specific ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious identity of its citizens through measures applied in education, culture and public information.


Article 49: Prohibition of Inciting Racial, Ethnic and Religious Hatred

Any inciting of racial, ethnic, religious or other inequality or hatred shall be prohibited and punishable.


Article 50: Freedom of the Media

�Censorship shall not be applied in the Republic of Serbia. Competent court may prevent the dissemination of information through means of public informing only when this is necessary in a democratic society to prevent inciting to violent overthrow of the system established by the Constitution or to prevent violation of territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia, to prevent propagation of war or instigation to direct violence, or to prevent advocacy of racial, ethnic or religious hatred enticing discrimination, hostility or violence.
The law shall regulate the exercise of right to correct false, incomplete or inaccurately imparted information resulting in violation of rights or interests of any person, and the right to react to communicated information.


Article 55: Freedom of Association

Freedom of political, union and any other form of association shall be guaranteed, as well as the right to stay out of any association.
Associations shall be formed without prior approval and entered in the register kept by a state body, in accordance with the law.
Secret and paramilitary associations shall be prohibited.
Constitutional Court may ban only such associations the activity of which is aimed at violent overthrow of constitutional order, violation of guaranteed human or minority rights, or inciting of racial, national and religious hatred.
Judges of Constitutional Court, judges, public prosecutors, Defender of Citizens, members of police force and military persons may not be members of political parties.


Article 57: Right to Asylum

Any foreign national with reasonable fear of prosecution based on his race, gender, language, religion, national origin or association with some other group, political opinions, shall have the right to asylum in the Republic of Serbia.
The procedure for granting asylum shall be regulated by the law.


Article 81: Developing the Spirit of Tolerance

In the field of education, culture and information, Serbia shall give impetus to the spirit of tolerance and intercultural dialogue and undertake efficient measures for enhancement of mutual respect, understanding and cooperation among all people living on its territory, regardless of their ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious identity.


Article 202: Derogation from Human and Minority Rights in the State of Emergency and War

Upon proclamation of the state of emergency or war, derogations from human and minority rights guaranteed by the Constitution shall be permitted only to the extent deemed necessary.
Measures providing for derogation shall not bring about differences based on race, sex, language, religion, national affiliation or social origin.
Measures providing for derogation from human and minority rights shall cease to be effective upon ending of the state of emergency or war.
Measures providing for derogation shall by no means be permitted in terms of the rights guaranteed pursuant to Articles 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 32, 34, 37, 38, 43, 45, 47, 49, 62 , 63, 64 and 78 of the Constitution.

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.