Congo, Republic of the
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Features of Constitution1

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


Constitution Year 2002
Last Amended not amended
Source Centre for Human Rights (University of Pretoria)
Translation Unofficial translation by ARDA staff from French source
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

Article 1

The Republic of Congo is a sovereign, indivisible, secular, and social democratic state.

Article 8

All citizens are equal before the law. Any discrimination based the following is prohibited: origin, social or material status, racial, ethnic, or regional membership, sex, education, language, religion, philosophy, or place of residence. Women have the same rights as men.

Article 18

Freedom of belief and freedom of conscience are inviolable. The use of religion for political purposes is prohibited.

Article 52

Political parties have a national character and do not identify themselves in form, in action, or in any other way with an ethnic group, region, religion, or cult.

Article 53

Political parties are recognized under the Constitution and the law. To be recognized, they are required to adhere to these fundamental principles:
…the secular character of the state;

Article 186

The initiative to amend the Constitution belongs, concurrently, to the President of the Republic and to members of Parliament. No procedure of revision can be initiated or continued when it jeopardizes the integrity of the territory. The republican form, the secularity of the state, the number of mandates of the Republic and the rights set forth in Sections I and II cannot be the object of amendments.


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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