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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 2007
Source Legislationline: OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
Translation Source is an English translation
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2


Everyone is equal before the law. No one shall be discriminated against on the basis of nationality, race, color, sex, language, origin, religion, political or other opinion, property or social status, or on other grounds. The incitement of national, racial, religious or political hatred, violence or discrimination shall, by law, be prohibited and punishable. The incitement of hatred, violence or discrimination between social strata shall, by law, also be prohibited and punishable.


Everyone has freedom of conscience, religion and thought.
Everyone may freely belong to churches and religious societies. There is no state church.
Everyone has the freedom to exercise his or her religion, both alone and in community with others, in public or in private, unless this is detrimental to public order, health or morals.


Everyone has the right to remain faithful to his or her opinions and beliefs. No one shall be compelled to change them.
Beliefs shall not excuse a violation of the law.
No one shall bear legal liability because of his or her beliefs.


State agencies, local governments, and their officials shall not gather or store information about the beliefs of an Estonian citizen against the citizen’s free will.


Estonian citizens have a duty to participate in national defense on the bases of and pursuant to procedure provided by law.
A person who refuses to serve in the Armed Forces for religious or moral reasons has a duty to perform alternative service pursuant to procedure prescribed by law.
Persons in the armed forces and alternative service have all constitutional rights, freedoms and duties, unless otherwise prescribed by law due to the special interests of the service. The rights and freedoms prescribed in paragraphs 3 and 4 of § 8, §§ 11-18, paragraph 3 of § 20, §§ 21-28, § 32, § 33, §§ 36-43, paragraphs 1 and 2 of § 44, §§ 49-51 of the Constitution shall not be restricted. The legal status of persons in the armed forces and alternative service shall be provided by law.


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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