Albania
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Features of Constitution1

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

Constitution2

Constitution Year 1998
Last Amended 2008
Source UNHCR Refworld
Translation Source is an English translation
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

Preamble

We, the people of Albania, proud and aware of our history, with responsibility for the future, and with faith in God and/or other universal values,
with determination to build a social and democratic state based on the rule of law, and to guarantee the fundamental human rights and freedoms,
with a spirit of tolerance and religious coexistence,
with the pledge for the protection of human dignity and personhood, as well as for the prosperity of the whole nation, for peace, well-being, culture and social solidarity,
with the centuries-old aspiration of the Albanian people for national identity and unity,
with a deep conviction that justice, peace, harmony and cooperation among nations are among the highest values of humanity,
We establish this Constitution:


Article 3

The independence of the state and the integrity of its territory, the dignity of the person, his rights and freedoms, social justice, the constitutional order, pluralism, national identity and inheritance, religious coexistence, and coexistence with, and understanding of Albanians for, minorities are the bases of this state, which has the duty of respecting and protecting them.


Article 9

1. Political parties are created freely. Their organization shall conform with democratic principles.
2. Political parties and other organizations, the programs and activity of which are based on totalitarian methods, which incite and support racial, religious, regional or ethnic hatred, which use violence to take power or influence state policy, as well as those with a secret character, are prohibited pursuant to the law. 3. The sources of financing of parties as well as their expenses are always made public.


Article 10

1. In the Republic of Albania there is no official religion.
2. The state is neutral on questions of belief and conscience and guarantees the freedom of their expression in public life.
3. The state recognizes the equality of religious communities.
4. The state and the religious communities mutually respect the independence of one another and work together for the good of each and all.
5. Relations between the state and religious communities are regulated on the basis of agreements entered into between their representatives and the Council of Ministers. These agreements are ratified by the Assembly.
6. Religious communities are juridical persons. They have independence in the administration of their properties according to their principles, rules and canons, to the extent that interests of third parties are not infringed.


Article 18

1. All are equal before the law.
2. No one may be unjustly discriminated against for reasons such as gender, race, religion, ethnicity, language, political, religious or philosophical beliefs, economic condition, education, social status, or parentage. 3. No one may be discriminated against for the reasons mentioned in paragraph 2 without a reasonable and objective justification.


Article 20

1. Persons who belong to national minorities exercise the human rights and freedoms in full equality before the law.
2. They have the right freely to express, without prohibition or compulsion, their ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic belonging. They have the right to preserve and develop them, to study and to be taught in their mother tongue, and to unite in organizations and associations for the protection of their interests and identity.


Article 24

1. Freedom of conscience and of religion is guaranteed.
2. Everyone is free to choose or to change his religion or beliefs, as well as to express them individually or collectively, in public or private life, through cult, education, practices or the performance of rituals.
3. No one may be compelled or prohibited to take part in a religious community or its practices or to make his beliefs or faith public.


Article 88

1. The President of the Republic is in every case elected for 5 years, with the right to be reelected only once.
2. The mandate expires on the same date, of the same month of the fifth year from the date the President of the Republic takes his oath. The mandate of the President is extended only in case of war, and for as long as the war continues.
2/1. The procedure for the election of the President begins not later than 60 days before the termination of the preceding presidential mandate. When the presidential mandate terminates during the six months preceding the end of the mandate of the existing Assembly, the procedure for the election of the President starts no later than 60 days prior to the termination of the mandate of the Assembly."
3. The President begins his duties after he takes the oath before the Assembly, but not before the mandate of the President who is leaving has been completed. The President takes this oath:
"I swear that I will obey the Constitution and laws of the country, I will respect the rights and freedoms of citizens, I will protect the independence of the Republic, and I will serve the general interest and the progress of the Albanian People." The President may add: "So help me God!"
4. A President who resigns before the end of his mandate may not be a candidate in the presidential election that takes place after his resignation.

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.