Lebanon
 National Profiles > Regions > Western Asia > Lebanon
Search National Profiles:

  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Shia

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Sunni Muslim (28.1%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 yes
Does the constitution state an official religion?3 recognition only [Article 9]
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 yes [Article 9]
Does the constitution protect religious equality/non-discrimination?3 no

Constitution

Constitution Year3 1926
Last Amended3 2004
Source3 Constitute Project
Translation3 Source is an English translation, edited by ARDA staff.
Current as of3 September 19, 2018

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)3

Preamble

...

(c) ... based upon ... freedom of opinion and freedom of belief; ...

...

(h) Eliminating political sectarianism is a basic national objective, to be achieved according to a transitional plan.

...

Article 9.

Freedom of conscience is absolute. In assuming the obligations of glorifying God, the Most High, the State respects all religions and creeds and safeguards the freedom of exercising the religious rites under its protection, without disturbing the public order. It also guarantees the respect of the system of personal status and religious interests of the people, regardless of their different creeds.

Article 10.

Education is free so long as it ... does not violate the morals, and does not touch the dignity of any religion or creed. The rights of communities to establish their own private schools cannot be violated ...

Article 19.

...

The right to resort to [the Constitutional] Council, with respect to reviewing the constitutionality of the laws, vests with [among others] ... Heads of the legally recognized sects, with respect to personal affairs, freedom of belief and the exercise of religious rituals, and freedom of religious education.

Article 22.

With the election of the first Chamber of Deputies on a national basis, not sectarian, a new Senate shall be established in which all religious communities are represented and whose power shall be limited to supreme national causes.

Article 24.

...

Until the Chamber of Deputies issues an Electoral Law, outside the sectarian record, representative seats are distributed according to the following rules:

(a) Equally between Christians and Moslems.

(b) Proportional between the sects of both sides.

...

Exceptionally, and once, representative seats vacant at the date of publishing this Law, and the seats created by the Electoral Law, are filled ... in implementation of the equality between the Christians and the Moslems, according to the National D├ętente Document. ...

Article 95.

The Chamber of Deputies, elected on the basis of half Moslems and half Christians, must take the appropriate measures to eliminate political sectarianism, according to an interim plan ...

The mission of the Council is to study and suggest the means capable of eliminating sectarianism, and introducing them to the Chamber of Deputies and the Council of Ministers, and to follow up on the interim plan.

In the transitory period:

(a) The sects are fairly represented in the formation of the Cabinet.

(b) The rule of sectarian representation is abrogated. Jurisdiction and efficiency are adopted in public employment, the Judiciary, the military and security establishments, the public and mixed organizations, according to the exigencies of national harmony, with the exception of the jobs of the first rank and the equivalence of the first rank therein. These jobs are equally divided between Christians and Moslems without specifying any job to a specific sect, taking into consideration the two principles of jurisdiction and efficiency.

*Note: An unwritten National Pact (al-Mithak al-Watani), concluded in 1943, provides that the President of the Republic be a Maronite Catholic Christian, the President of the Chamber of Deputies (the legislature) be a Shiite, the Premier be a Sunni Muslim, and Vice-Presidents of both the Chamber of Deputies and the government be Orthodox Christians.

Barrett, Kurian, and Johnson, World Christian Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., p. 446 (2001).


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.

Bookmark and Share