National Profiles > Regions > South America > Ecuador
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Catholic

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Catholic (85.6%)

Features Of Constitution

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


Constitution Year4 2008
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, the sovereign people of Ecuador
RECOGNIZING our ancient roots, forged by women and men from different villages,
CELEBRATING nature, the Pacha Mama [Mother Earth], of which we are part and which is vital our existence,
INVOKING the name of God and recognizing our various forms of religiosity and spirituality,…

Article 1

Ecuador is a constitutional state of rights and justice; social, democratic, sovereign, independent, unitary, intercultural, multinational and secular. It is organized as a republic and is governed in a decentralized manner…

Article 11

The exercise of rights is governed by the following principles:
…2. All persons are equal and enjoy the same rights, duties and opportunities. No one shall be discriminated against because of ethnicity, birthplace, age, sex, gender identity, cultural identity, marital status, language, religion, ideology, political affiliation, criminal record, socioeconomic status, immigration status, sexual orientation, health status, carrying HIV, disability, or physical difference; nor because of any other distinction, personal or collective, temporary or permanent, which has the purpose or effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise of rights. The law shall punish any discrimination. The State shall take affirmative action to promote equality in favor or rights holders who are in a situation of inequality.

Article 19

The law shall regulate the content of informational, education and cultural media programming and encourage the creation of spaces for the dissemination of independent national production. It prohibits the broadcast of advertising that causes violence, discrimination, racism, drug abuse, sexism, religious or political intolerance and all that runs counter to rights.

Article 66

It is recognized and guaranteed to the people:
…8. The right to practice, maintain, change, and to profess in public or in private their religion or belief, whether individually or collectively, under the restrictions that are imposed by respect for these rights.
…14. The right to travel freely throughout the national territory, to choose residence, and to enter and leave the country, the practice of which is regulated in accordance with the law. Prohibition to leave the country can only be ordered by a competent court. Foreign persons cannot be returned or expelled to a country where their life, liberty, security or integrity or that of their family is threatened on account of their ethnicity, religion, nationality, ideology, membership in a particular social group, or political opinions.
The collective expulsion of aliens is prohibited. The migratory processes will have to be distinguished.
…28. The right to personal and collective identity, which includes having a registered and freely chosen name; and conserving, developing and strengthening the material and nonmaterial characteristics of one’s identity, including nationality, family background, and cultural, religious, linguistic, political, and social demonstrations.

Article 71

Nature or Pacha Mama [Mother Earth], where life plays and performs, has the right to have its existence fully respected and its vital cycles, structure, functions and evolutionary processes maintained and regenerated. Any person, community, town or nationality may require that public authority comply with the rights of nature…

Article 174

Judicial servants shall not practice law or hold another public or private employment except for university teaching outside of work hours. Procedural bad faith, malicious or vexatious litigation, and the generation of procedural obstacles or delay shall be punished according to law. Judges may not hold leadership roles in political parties and movements, p


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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