Malta
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Catholic

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Catholic (92.6%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 yes
Does the constitution state an official religion?3 yes [Article 2(1)]
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 yes [Article 40(1)]
Does the constitution protect religious equality/non-discrimination?3 yes [Articles 32, 45(1)]

Constitution

Constitution Year3 1964
Last Amended3 2016
Source3 Constitute Project
Translation3 Original is in English.
Current as of3 July 26, 2018

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)3

Article 2. Religion.

(1) The religion of Malta is the Roman Catholic Apostolic Religion.

(2) The authorities of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church have the duty and the right to teach which principles are right and which are wrong.

(3) Religious teaching of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Faith shall be provided in all State schools as part of compulsory education.

Article 32. Fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual.

Whereas every person in Malta is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his ... creed ... but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely –

[Here follow enumerated rights]

Article 40. Protection of freedom of conscience and worship.

(1) All persons in Malta shall have full freedom of conscience and enjoy the free exercise of their respective mode of religious worship.

(2) No person shall be required to receive instruction in religion or to show knowledge or proficiency in religion if, in the case of a person who has not attained the age of sixteen years, objection to such requirement is made by the person who according to law has authority over him and, in any other case, if the person so required objects thereto:

Provided that no such requirement shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this article to the extent that the knowledge of, or the proficiency or instruction in, religion is required for the teaching of such religion, or for admission to the priesthood or to a religious order, or for other religious purposes, and except so far as that requirement is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.

(3) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subarticle (1), to the extent that the law in question makes provision that is reasonably required in the interests of public safety, public order, public morality or decency, public health, or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others, and except so far as that provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under the authority thereof, is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.

Article 45. Protection from discrimination on the grounds of race, etc.

(1) Subject to the provisions of sub-articles (4), (5) and (7) of this article, no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

...

(3) In this article, the expression "discriminatory" means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by ... creed ... whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.

[Some technical exceptions follow.]

...

(9) A requirement, however made, that the Roman Catholic Apostolic Religion shall be taught by a person professing that religion shall not be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this article.

...


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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