Guyana
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Western Christian

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Protestant (incl. Anglican, Pentecostal) (41.6%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 yes
Does the constitution state an official religion?3 no [Article 1]
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 yes [Article 145]
Does the constitution protect religious equality/non-discrimination?3 yes [Article 149]

Constitution

Constitution Year3 1980
Last Amended3 2016
Source3 Constitute Project
Translation3 Original was written in English.
Current as of3 July 17, 2018

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)3

Preamble

...

May God protect our people.

Article 1. The State in transition to socialism.

Guyana is [a] ... secular state ...

Article 38F. Vilification of religion.

No person's religion or religious belief shall be vilified.

Article 145. Protection of freedom of conscience.

(1) Except with his or her own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his or her freedom of conscience, and for the purposes of this article the said freedom includes freedom of thought and of religion, freedom to change his or her religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others, and both in public and in private, to manifest and propagate his or her religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

(2) No religious community shall be prevented from providing religious instruction for persons of that community.

(3) Except with his or her own consent (or, if he or she is a person who has not attained the age of eighteen years, the consent of his or her guardian), no person attending any place of education shall be required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or attend any religious ceremony or observance if that instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion which is not his or her own.

(4) No person shall be compelled to take any oath which is contrary to his or her religion or belief or to take any oath in a manner which is contrary to his or her religion or belief.

(5) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this article to the extent that the law in question makes provision-

(a) which is reasonably required-

(i) in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or

(ii) for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons, including the right to observe and practise any religion without the unsolicited intervention of members of any other religion; or

(b) with respect to standards or qualifications to be required in relation to places of education including any instruction (not being religious instruction) given at such places.

(6) References in this article to a religion shall be construed as including references to a religious denomination, and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly.

Article 149. Protection from discrimination on the grounds of race, etc.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this article-

(a) no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect; and

(b) no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.

(2) In this article the expression "discriminatory" means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their or their parents' or guardians' respective descriptions by ... creed, ... religion, conscience, belief or culture 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 afforded to persons of another such description.

[Technical exceptions follow. However:]

(4) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of paragraph (1)(a) to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being standards or qualifications specifically relating to a person's or his or her parents' or guardians' respective description by ... creed, ... religion, conscience, belief or culture) to be required of any person who is appointed to any office in the public service, any office in a disciplined force, or any office in the service or of a local democratic organ or of a body corporate established by any law for public purposes.

...

Article 212B. Composition of Ethnic Relations Commission.

(1) The Ethnic Relations Commission shall consist of-

(a) not less than five nor more than fifteen members nominated by entities, by a consensual mechanism determined by the National Assembly, including entities, representative of religious bodies ...

...

Article 212D. Functions of Ethnic Relations Commission.

The functions of the Ethnic Relations Commission are to-

...

(f) encourage and create respect for religious, cultural and other forms of diversity in a plural society;

...


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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