Cyprus
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Orthodox

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Orthodox (63.8%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 yes
Does the constitution state an official religion?3 recognition only [Article 110]
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 yes [Article 18]
Does the constitution protect religious equality/non-discrimination?3 yes [Article 28(2)]

Constitution

Constitution Year3 1960
Last Amended3 2016
Source3 Constitute Project
Translation3 Source is an English translation.
Current as of3 July 28, 2018

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)3

Article 2.

For the purposes of this Constitution

(1) the Greek Community comprises all citizens of the Republic … who are members of the Greek-Orthodox Church;

(2) the Turkish Community comprises all citizens of the Republic … who are Moslems;

(3) [other religious groups] shall so opt as a religious group and upon such option they shall be deemed to be members of such Community: [some provisos follow]

Article 11.

(2) No person shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases when and as provided by law:

(f) [Border patrol, immigration enforcement, and extradition, absent] a material reason to believe that the request to extradite or surrender was made with a view to criminally prosecute or punish the person on grounds of … religion …

Article 18.

(1) Every person has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

(2) All religions whose doctrines or rites are not secret are free.

(3) All religions are equal before the law. Without prejudice to the competence of the Communal Chambers under this Constitution, no legislative, executive or administrative act of the Republic shall discriminate against any religious institution or religion.

(4) Every person is free and has the right to profess his faith and to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice or observance, either individually or collectively, in private or in public, and to change his religion or belief.

(5) The use of physical or moral compulsion for the purpose of making a person change or preventing him from changing his religion is prohibited.

(6) Freedom to manifest one’s religion or belief shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in the interests of the security of the Republic or the constitutional order or the public safety or the public order or the public health or the public morals or for the protection of the rights and liberties guaranteed by this Constitution to any person.

(7) Until a person attains the age of sixteen the decision as to the religion to be professed by him shall be taken by the person having the lawful guardianship of such person.

(8) No person shall be compelled to pay any tax or duty the proceeds of which are specially allocated in whole or in part for the purposes of a religion other than his own.

Article 20.

(1) [The right to education is subject to restriction only when necessary] … for the … right of the parents to secure for their children such education as is in conformity with their religious convictions.

Article 22.

[On right to marry]

(3) Nothing in this Article contained shall, in any way, affect the rights, other than those on marriage, of the Greek-Orthodox Church or of any religious group to which the provisions of paragraph 3 of Article 2 shall apply with regard to their respective members as provided in this Constitution.

Article 23.

(4) [Right of eminent domain by the state] … for the … religious … institutions …

(8) [Right of requisition by the state] … for the purposes of the … religious … institutions …

(9) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Article no deprivation, restriction or limitation of the right provided in paragraph I of this Article 1n respect of any movable or immovable property belonging to any See, monastery, church or any other ecclesiastical corporation or any right over it or interest therein shall be made except with the written consent of the appropriate ecclesiastical authority being in control of such property and the provisions of paragraphs 3, 4, 7 and 8 of this Article shall be subject to the provisions of this paragraph:

Provided that restrictions or limitations for the purposes of town and country planning under the provisions of paragraph 3 of this Article are exempted from the provisions of this paragraph.

(10) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Article, no deprivation, restriction or limitation of any right provided in paragraph 1 of this Article in respect of any vakf movable or immovable property, including the objects and subjects of the vakfs and the properties belonging to the Mosques or to any other Moslem religious institutions, or any right thereon or interest therein shall be made except with the approval of the Turkish Communal Chamber and subject to the Laws and Principles of Vakfs and the provisions of paragraphs 3, 4, 7 and 8 of this Article shall be subject to the provisions of this paragraph:

Provided that restrictions or limitations for the purposes of town and country planning under the provisions of paragraph 3 of this Article are exempted from the provisions of this paragraph.

Article 28.

(2) Every person shall enjoy all the rights and liberties provided for in this Constitution without any direct or indirect discrimination against any person on the ground of his … religion … unless there is express provision to the contrary in this Constitution.

Article 59

(2) The office of a Minister shall be incompatible … in the case of a Turkish Minister with that of a religious functionary (din adami).

Article 70.

The office of a Representative shall be incompatible with that …, in the case of a Representative elected by the Turkish Community, of a religious functionary (din adami).

Article 87.

The Communal Chambers shall [have] legislative power solely with regard to the following matters:

(a) all religious matters;

(d) the composition and instances of courts dealing with civil disputes relating … to religious matters;

Article 90.

(3) The Communal Chambers shall have no competence to use measures of constraint to secure compliance with their respective communal laws or decisions and of the judgments of the Courts dealing with civil disputes relating … to religious matters within their respective competence.

Article 101.

(1) The office of a member of a Communal Chamber shall be incompatible … in the case of that of a member of the Turkish Communal Chamber, with that of a religious functionary (din adam).

Article 108.

(2) Also where either the Greek or the Turkish Community considers that it has not the necessary number of … clergymen for the functioning of its institutions, such Community shall have the right to obtain and employ such personnel to the extent strictly necessary to meet its needs as the Greek or the Turkish Government respectively may provide.

Article 109.

Each religious group which under the provisions of paragraph 3 of Article 2 has opted to belong to one of the Communities shall have the right to be represented, by elected member or members of such group, in the Communal Chamber of the Community to which such group has opted to belong as shall be provided by a relevant communal law.

Article 110.

(1) The Autocephalous Greek-Orthodox Church of Cyprus shall continue to have the exclusive right of regulating and administering its own internal affairs and property in accordance with the Holy Canons and its Charter in force for the time being and the Greek Communal Chamber shall not act inconsistently with such right.

(2) The institution of Vakf and the Principles and Laws of, and relating to, Vakfs are recognised by this Constitution.

All matters relating to or in any way affecting the institution or foundation of Vakf or the vakfs or any vakf properties, including properties belonging to Mosques and any other Moslem religious institution, shall be governed solely by and under the Laws and Principles of Vakfs and the laws and regulations enacted or made by the Turkish Communal Chamber, and no legislative, executive or other act whatsoever shall contravene or override or interfere with such Laws or Principles of Vakfs and with such laws and regulations of the Turkish Communal Chamber.

(3) Any right with regard to religious matters possessed in accordance with the law of the Colony of Cyprus in force immediately before the date of the coming into operation of this Constitution by the Church of a religious group to which the provisions of paragraph 3 of Article 2 shall apply shall continue to be so possessed by such Church on and after the date of the coming into operation of this Constitution.

Article 111.

(1) [Marriage of non-Turks shall] be governed by the law of the Greek-Orthodox Church or of the Church of such religious group, as the case may be. A Law shall provide for an attempt of reconciliation or of spiritual dissolution of marriage to be made before a Bishop.

(2) (A) Any matter relating to divorce, judicial separation or restitution of conjugal rights or to family relations of the members of the Greek-Orthodox Church, shall be cognizable by family courts each of which is composed:

(a) For a divorce trial, of three judges, one of which is a lawyer ecclesiastical officer appointed by the Greek Orthodox Church and presides over the Court and the other two of high professional and moral standard belonging to the Greek Orthodox Church are appointed by the Supreme Court among lawyers. If no ecclesiastical officer is appointed as above, the Supreme Court appoints the President of the Court as well.

(b) For any other trial, or one judge as a law shall provide.

(B) The divorce is maintenable only

(a) For the grounds, under the Charter of the Holy Church of Cyprus, as are in force at the date of Enactment by the House of Representatives, of the First Amendment of the Constitution Law of 1989, in so far as they are not inconsistent with the Constitution;

(c) For any other ground that a law may provide after the views of the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus are being heard.

(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of the first paragraph of this section, the free choice of a civil marriage is offered to the members of the Greek Community.

Article 152.

(2) The judicial power with respect to civil disputes relating … to religious matters which are reserved under Article 87 for the Communal Chambers shall be exercised by such courts as a communal law made under the provisions of this Constitution shall provide.

Article 160.

(1) A communal law made by the Communal Chamber concerned shall, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, provide for the establishment, composition and jurisdiction of courts to deal with civil disputes relating to … to religious matters which are reserved for the competence of the Communal Chambers by the provisions of this Constitution.

(3) … Provided that nothing in this paragraph contained shall preclude a court of the Republic from applying in a case, where an issue relating … to religious matters is raised incidentally, the relevant communal law.

Article 161.

Subject to paragraph 3 of Article 160 the courts of the Republic shall have power to apply also the relevant communal laws other than those relating … to religious matters.

Article 197.

[On government property]

(2) Nothing in this Article contained shall apply to any bequest or other donation administered by trustees or to any vakf in connexion with any educational purposes.


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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