Dominican Republic
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Catholic

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Catholic (80.6%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 Yes
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 Yes


Constitution Year4 2010
Last Amended4 not amended
Source4 Political Database of the Americas
Translation4 Unofficial translation by ARDA staff from Spanish source
Current as of4 May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)4


We, representatives of the Dominican people, freely and democratically elected, united in the National Revision Assembly, invoking the name of God, guided by the ideas of our Founding Fathers…

Article 32

The National Shield has the same colors as the National Flag arranged in the same way. The Bible, opened to the Gospel of St. John, Chapter Eight, Verse Thirty-Two, is in the center, with a cross above it that arises from a trophy composed of two lances and four national flags without a shield, arranged on both sides; a laurel branch takes the left side and a palm takes the right. It is topped by an ultramarine blue ribbon which reads the motto "Dios, Patria y Libertad" ["God, Fatherland and Liberty"]. On the base there is another vermillion ribbon whose ends are directed upwards, reading the words "Republica Dominicana" ["Dominican Republic"]…

Article 34. – National Motto.

The National Motto is "Dios, Patria, y Libertad" [God, Fatherland and Liberty].

Article 39. – Right to equality.

All persons are born free and equal before the law, receive the same protection and treatment by the institutions, authorities and other persons, and enjoy the same rights, freedoms and opportunities with no discrimination based on gender, color, age, disability, nationality, links family, language, religion, political or philosophical opinion, or social or personal condition. Therefore:

Article 45. – Freedom of conscience and worship.

The state guarantees freedom of conscience and worship, subject to the public order and respecting morality.

Article 55. – Rights of the family.

The family is the foundation of society and is the basic space for the integral development of the people. It is formed by natural or legal links, by the free choice of a man and woman to enter marriage, or by the free will to shape it.
…(3) The State shall promote and protect the organization of the family based on the institution of marriage between a man and a woman. The law establishes the requirements to enter into contract, the formalities of its celebration, its personal and property effects, the grounds for separation or dissolution, the regime of goods and the rights and duties between the spouses; (4) Religious marriages will have civil effects within the terms established by law, subject to the provisions of international treaties;…

Article 127. – Oath.

The President-elect and the Vice-President-elect of the Republic, before taking office, shall take the following oath before the National Assembly: "I swear before God and the people, on the Fatherland and on my honor, to fulfill and enforce the Constitution and laws of the Republic, protect and defend its independence, respect the rights and freedoms of the citizens and faithfully perform the duties of my office."

Article 263. – Defense of the State.

If national sovereignty or territorial integrity is seen to be in grave danger and external armed aggression is imminent, the Chief Executive, without exceeding the power of his office, may request a Defense of the State declaration from the National Congress. In this state the following may not be suspended:
…(3) Freedom of conscience and worship, under the provisions of Article 45;
(4) The protection of the family, under the provisions of Article 55;

[Note: The constitutional text hosted by the Political Database of the Americas is reproduced from official government 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 and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports the estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. The RCS was created to fulfill the unmet need for a dataset on the religious dimensions of countries of the world, with the state-year as the unit of observation. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivision 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 and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

3.  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.

4.  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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