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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Catholic

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Catholic (69.6%)

Features Of Constitution

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


Constitution Year4 2009
Last Amended4 not amended
Source4 Political Database of the Americas
Translation4 Unofficial translation by ARDA staff from Spanish source
Current as of4 May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)4


In ancient times mountains were erected, moved rivers, lakes were formed. Our Amazon, our Chaco, our highlands and our plains and valleys were covered with greenery and flowers. We populated this sacred Mother Earth with different faces, and we knew since then the current plurality of all things and our diversity as individuals and cultures. So our people settled, and we never understood racism until we suffered from the dismal days of colonialism…
Fulfilling the mandate of our people, with the strength of our Mother Earth and thanks to God, we submit Bolivia.

Part I: Fundamental Basis of State Rights, Duties and Guarantees. Title I: Fundamental Bases of State. Chapter One: State Model.

Article 4

The State respects and guarantees freedom of religion and spiritual beliefs, according to ones’ views of the world. The State is independent of religion.

Part II: Fundamental Rights and Guarantees. Chapter One: General Provisions.

Article 14

II. The State prohibits and punishes all forms of discrimination on grounds of sex, color, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, origin, culture, nationality, citizenship, language, religion, ideology, political or philosophical affiliation, marital status, economic or social condition, occupation, education level, disability, pregnancy, or on other grounds that have the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, of the equal rights of every person.

Chapter Three: Civil and Political Rights. Section I: Civil Rights

Article 21

Bolivians have the following rights:
1. Cultural self-identification
2. Privacy, honor, self-image and dignity
3. Freedom of thought, spirituality, religion and worship, expressed individually or collectively, in public or private, for lawful purposes.
4. Freedom of assembly and association, publicly and privately, for lawful purposes.
5. To freely express and disseminate thoughts or opinions by any means of communication, oral, written or visual, individually or collectively.
6. To access, interpret, analyze and freely communicate information, individually or collectively.
7. Freedom of residence, permanence and movement in all of Bolivia, including entry and exit into and out of the country.

Chapter Four: Rights of the Nations and the Native Indigenous Campesino People

Article 30

II. In the framework of the unity of the State and in accordance with this Constitution, the nations and native indigenous campesino people enjoy the following rights…
2. Cultural identity, religious belief, spirituality, practices and customs, and their own worldview.
…7. The protection of sacred sites.
…9. That their knowledge and traditional knowledge, their traditional medicine, their language, their rituals and their symbols and clothing are valued, respected and promoted.

Chapter Six: Educational, Cultural, and Intercultural Rights. Section I: Education

Article 86

In the centers of learning, freedom of conscience, of faith, and of religious education, as well as the spirituality of the nations and the native indigenous campesino people, will be recognized and guaranteed, and mutual respect and coexistence among people of different religions will be encouraged, with no dogmatic imposition. In these centers there will be no discrimination in the acceptance and retention of students based on their choice of religion.

Article 87

The functioning of non-profit and universally accessible educational facilities for the purpose of social service, to be operated under the tuition of public authorities, will be recognized and respected, as will the right of religious bodies to manage educational facilities, which shall be governed by the same ru


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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