Bhutan
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Tibetan Buddhist

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Vajrayana Buddhist (84.1%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 yes
Does the constitution state an official religion?3 recognition only [Article 3(1)]
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 yes [Article 7(4)]
Does the constitution protect religious equality/non-discrimination?3 yes [Article 7(15)]

Constitution

Constitution Year3 2008
Last Amended3 (n/a)
Source3 Constitute Project
Translation3 Source is an English translation, edited by ARDA staff.
Current as of3 October 17, 2018

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)3

Preamble

BLESSED by the Triple Gem [Buddha, Dharma and Sangha], the protection of our guardian deities …

Article 2. The institution of monarchy.

(2) The Chhoe-sid-nyi [dual system of religion and politics] of Bhutan shall be unified in the person of the Druk Gyalpo [King] who, as a Buddhist, shall be the upholder of the Chhoe-sid [religion and politics].

Article 3. Spiritual heritage.

(1) Buddhism is the spiritual heritage of Bhutan, which promotes the principles and values of peace, non-violence, compassion and tolerance.

(2) The Druk Gyalpo [King] is the protector of all religions in Bhutan.

(3) It shall be the responsibility of religious institutions and personalities to promote the spiritual heritage of the country while also ensuring that religion remains separate from politics in Bhutan. Religious institutions and personalities shall remain above politics.

(4) The Druk Gyalpo [King] shall, on the recommendation of the Five Lopons [Teachers], appoint a learned and respected monk ordained in accordance with the Druk-lu [the tradition of Drukpa Kargyu], with the nine qualities of a spiritual master and accomplished in ked-dzog [a stage of development in Vajrayana Buddhism], as the Je Khenpo [Chief Abbot of the Central Monastic Body of Bhutan].

(5) His Holiness the Je Khenpo shall, on the recommendation of the Dratshang Lhentshog [Commission for Monastic Affairs], appoint monks with the nine qualities of a spiritual master and accomplished in ked-dzog as the Five Lopons.

(6) The members of the Dratshang Lhentshog shall comprise:

(a) The Je Khenpo as Chairman;

(b) The Five Lopons of the Zhung Dratshang [Central Monastic Body]; and

(c) The Secretary of the Dratshang Lhentshog who is a civil servant.

(7) The Zhung Dratshang and Rabdeys [a category of monastic bodies outside Thimphu and Punakha] shall continue to receive adequate funds and other facilities from the State.

Article 7. Fundamental rights.

(4) A Bhutanese citizen shall have the right to freedom of … religion. No person shall be compelled to belong to another faith by means of coercion or inducement.

(15) All persons are equal before the law and are entitled to equal and effective protection of the law and shall not be discriminated against on the grounds of … religion …

(22) Notwithstanding the rights conferred by this Constitution, nothing in this Article shall prevent the State from subjecting reasonable restriction by law, when it concerns:

(d) Incitement to an offence on the grounds of … religion …

Article 8. Fundamental duties.

(3) A Bhutanese citizen shall foster tolerance, mutual respect and spirit of brotherhood amongst all the people of Bhutan transcending religious … diversities.

Article 15. Political parties.

(3) Candidates and political parties shall not resort to … religion to incite voters for electoral gain.

(4) A political party shall be registered by the Election Commission on its satisfying the qualifications and requirements set out hereinafter, that:

(b) Its membership is not based on … religion …

Schedule 2. National Anthem of Bhutan

[contains Buddhist imagery]


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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