Brunei
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Sunni

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Sunni Muslim (57.6%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 yes
Does the constitution state an official religion?3 yes [Article 3(1)]
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 yes [Article 3(1)]
Does the constitution protect religious equality/non-discrimination?3 no

Constitution

Constitution Year3 1959
Last Amended3 2006
Source3 Constitute Project
Translation3 Source is an English translation, edited by ARDA staff.
Current as of3 November 7, 2018

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)3

Article 2. Interpretation.

In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires—

"Chief Syar’ie Judge" means the Chief Syar’ie Judge appointed under the Syariah Courts Act (Chapter 184);

"Islamic Religion" means the Islamic Religion according to the Shafeite sect of Ahlis Sunnah Waljamaah;

"Mufti Kerajaan" means the person appointed as such by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan under the Religious Council and Kadis Courts Act (Chapter 77);

"Muslim revenue and funds" means all revenues and funds to which Part IV of the Religious Council and Kadis Courts Act (Chapter 77) applies;

"Religious Council" means the Religious Council constituted by Part II of the Religious Council and Kadis Courts Act (Chapter 77);

Article 3. Official religion of Brunei Darussalam and religious observance.

(1) The official religion of Brunei Darussalam shall be the Islamic Religion:

Provided that all other religions may be practised in peace and harmony by the persons professing them.

(2) The Head of the official religion of Brunei Darussalam shall be His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan.

(3) The Religious Council shall be the authority responsible for advising His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan on all matters relating to the Islamic Religion.

(4) For the purpose of this Article, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan may, after consultation with the Religious Council, but not necessarily in accordance with the advice of that Council, make laws in respect of matters relating to the Islamic Religion.

Article 4. Executive authority and principal officers.

(5) The appointment of Ministers and Deputy Ministers shall be made from among the Malay race professing the Islamic Religion, save where His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan otherwise decides.

Article 5. Establishment of Privy Council.

(2) The Privy Council, the Members of which shall be styled Privy Councillors, shall consist of—

(c) ex-officio Members, namely the … Mufti Kerajaan, Chief Syar’ie Judge … [among others]

Article 8A. Establishment of Pardons Board.

(1) For the purposes of this Part, there shall be established a Pardons Board which shall consist of … the Mufti Kerajaan … [among others]

(5) Before tendering its advice on any matter, the Pardons Board shall consider any written opinion which may have been delivered thereon … by the Mufti Kerajaan on any aspect of Islamic law.

Article 30. Disqualification for Members [of the Legislative Council].

No person shall be qualified to be a Member of the Legislative Council who—

(e) is a murtad [apostate from Islam] in accordance with the Hukum Syara’ …

Article 42. Description of Bills, motions and petitions not to proceed without approval.

(1) Except with the prior approval of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan, a Member of the Legislative Council shall not introduce or propose, and the Legislative Council shall not proceed upon, any Bill, any amendment to any Bill, or any motion, petition or business which, in the opinion of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan, falls within any of the following classes—

(e) any Bill, motion, petition or business that may have the effect of lowering or adversely affect directly or indirectly the standing or prominence of the National Philosophy of Melayu Islam Beraja (known in English as Malay Islamic Monarchy);

Article 53. Privileges of Members of Legislative Council.

(1A) No Member of the Legislative Council shall speak or make any comments—

(a) directly or indirectly derogatory of … the National Philosophy of Malay Islamic Monarchy …

Article 69. Exclusion of Muslim revenues and funds.

The provisions of this Part [on Finance] shall not be applicable to Muslim revenues and funds.

Article 81. Attorney General and his functions.

(3) The Attorney General shall have power exercisable at his discretion to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence other than—

(a) proceedings before a Syariah Court, subject to the provisions of any written law to the contrary …

Article 84A. Appointment to specified offices.

(1) No person shall be appointed to any office specified in the Third Schedule unless he is a citizen … professing the Islamic Religion.

Article 86. Interpretation Tribunal.

(7) The Interpretation Tribunal shall consist of 3 members—

(c) one member who shall be a person from any country who professes the Islamic Religion who holds or has held office in Islamic law or is an expert in Islamic law and jurisprudence.

SECOND SCHEDULE: Provisions relating to Legislative Council (Article 24(1)).

1. Composition and Membership of the Legislative Council.

The Legislative Council shall consist of not more than 45 Members as follows—

a. …

(iv) persons who, in His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan’s opinion, have achieved distinction in the field of religion … [among others]

THIRD SCHEDULE: List of specified offices (Article 84A(1)).

Chief Syar’ie Judge

Mufti Kerajaan


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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