Cape Verde
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Features of Constitution1

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


Constitution Year 1992
Last Amended 2010
Source Centre for Human Rights (University of Pretoria)
Translation Unofficial translation by ARDA staff from Portuguese source
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

Article 1: Republic of Cape Verde

1. Cape Verde is a sovereign, unitary and democratic Republic that guarantees respect for the dignity of the human being and recognizes the inviolability and inalienability of human rights as the foundation of the entire human community, peace and justice. [Note: This paragraph was amended in 2010.]
2. The Republic of Cape Verde recognizes the equality of all citizens before the law without distinction based on social origin or economic status, race, sex, religion, political or ideological convictions and social conditions and assures the full enjoyment of the fundamental freedoms of all citizens.

Article 2: Democratic State

1. The Republic of Cape Verde is organized as a democratic state based on principles of popular sovereignty, pluralism of expression and democratic political organization and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms.
2. The Republic of Cape Verde recognizes and respects the organization of political power, the unitary nature of the state, the republican form of government, pluralist democracy, the separation and interdependence of powers, the separation of church and state, the independence of the courts of law, the existence and autonomy of local authorities and the democratic decentralization of public administration.

Article 23: Principle of equality

All citizens shall have equal social dignity and shall be equal before the law, and no one may be privileged, favored or discriminated against, deprived of any right or exempt from any duty by reason of race, sex, ancestry, language, origin, religion, social and economic condition or political or ideological convictions.

Article 28: Right to liberty

1. The right to liberty is be inviolable.
2. Personal freedoms of thought, expression and information, association, religion, worship, intellectual, artistic and cultural creation, demonstration and others enshrined in the Constitution, in international law or in domestic law, as received in internal jurisdiction and the law. [Note: This paragraph was amended in 2010.]
3. No one can be forced to declare his or her ideology, religion or religious worship, or political or union affiliation.

Article 37: Extradition

1. In no case shall an extradition request be granted: a) for political, ethnic or religious motives or for crimes of opinion;
b) if the crime the subject is accused of carries the death penalty in the requesting state;
c) when there is a justifiable assumption that the person to be extradited is likely to be subjected to torture or inhuman, degrading or cruel treatment.
[Note: Article 37 was amended in 2010.]

Article 44: Use of computer facilities and personal data protection

1. All citizens have the right to access computerized data relating to them, may demand that it be corrected and updated, and have the right to know its intended purpose, as provided by law.
2. Use of electronic means of recording and processing individually identifiable data relating to political, philosophical or ideological convictions, religious faith, political party or union affiliation or private life shall be prohibited except:
(a) upon express consent of the person in question;
(b) with authorization provided by law under guarantees of non-discrimination;
when the statistical data is not individually identifiable;

Article 46: Marriage and parenthood

1. All are entitled to a civil or religious marriage.

Article 47: Freedom of expression and information

1. Everyone shall have the freedom to express and disseminate their ideas through speech, image or any other means, and no one may be harmed due to their political, philosophical, religious or other forms of opinions.

Article 48: Freedom of conscience, religion and worship

1. Freedom of conscience, religion and worship is inviolable, and all have the right, individually or collectively, to profess a religion or not, to have a religious conviction of their choice, to participate in acts of worship and to express their faith freely and spread their doctrine or conviction, as long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others or the common good.
2. No one may be discriminated against, persecuted, injured, deprived of their rights, benefitted or made exempt from duties because of their faith or their religious beliefs or practices.
3. Churches and other religious communities are separate from the state and are independent and free to organize and practice their own activities, and are considered partners in the promotion of the social and spiritual development of the Cape Verdean people.
4. Freedom of religious instruction is guaranteed.
5. Religious ministry in hospitals, welfare institutions and prisons as well as in the armed forces is guaranteed, as provided by the law.
6. Churches have the right to use the media to carry out their activities and purposes, in accordance with the law.
7. Protection of places of worship and symbols, emblems and religious rites shall be ensured, and imitation and mockery of these are prohibited.
8. The right to conscientious objection is guaranteed under the law.

Article 49: Freedom to learn, educate and teach

1. All are free to learn, educate and teach.
2. The freedom to learn, educate and teach include:
... - The prohibition of the State to plan education and instruction tuition in accordance with any philosophical, aesthetic, political, ideological or religious directives;

Article 56: Participation in the organization of political power political parties

...3. Political parties may not adopt names that, directly or indirectly, identify with any part of the country, or with a church or religion or religious denomination, or which invokes the name of a person or an institution.

Article 57: Right to broadcasting airtime, riposte and political replies

...3. The right to airtime may also be granted by law, to social partnerships and to legally recognized and to religious groups.

Article 63: Freedom of professional and trade union association

...5. Trade unions and professional associations shall be independent of employers, the state, political parties, church or religious denominations.
6. The law regulates the creation, merger, federation and disbanding of trade unions and professional associations and ensures their independence and autonomy from the state, employers, parties and political associations, church or religious denominations. ...

Article 245: Military Service

1. Military service is compulsory under the law.
...2. Conscientious objectors to military service and citizens who are subject to military service by law and are found unfit for military service will provide unarmed military service or civilian service appropriate to their situation, under the law. 3. Civic service can be established as an alternative or complement to military service and made compulsory by law for citizens who are not subject to military service.

Article 269: Subsistence of certain fundamental rights

A declaration of a state of siege or emergency shall, in no case, affect rights to life, physical integrity, personal identity, civil capacity and citizenship, the non-retroactivity of criminal law, the right of the accused to a defense, and the freedoms of conscience and of religion.


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 if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

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