Bahrain
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Sunni

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Shia Muslim (34.3%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 yes
Does the constitution state an official religion?3 yes [Article 2]
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 unclear [Article 22]
Does the constitution protect religious equality/non-discrimination?3 yes [Article 18]

Constitution

Constitution Year3 2002
Last Amended3 2017
Source3 Constitute Project
Translation3 Source is an English translation, edited by ARDA staff.
Current as of3 September 27, 2018

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)3

Preamble

In the name of God on high, and with His Blessing, and with His help … in acknowledgment of our obligations to God …

… God willing … declaring their adherence to Islam as a faith …

The amendments to the Constitution proceed from the premise that the noble people of Bahrain believe that Islam brings salvation in this world and the next, and that Islam means neither inertness nor fanaticism but explicitly states that wisdom is the goal of the believer wherever he finds it he should take it, and that the Qur’an has been remiss in nothing.

… consistent with our religion …

… these constitutional amendments … base our political system on a constitutional monarchy founded on counsel [shura], which in Islam is the highest model for governance …

Article 1.

(a) The Kingdom of Bahrain is … [an] Islamic … State …

Article 2.

The religion of the State is Islam. The Islamic Shari’a is a principal source for legislation.

Article 5.

(a) The family is the basis of society, deriving its strength from religion, morality …

(b) The State guarantees reconciling the duties of women towards the family with their work in society, and their equality with men in political, social, cultural, and economic spheres without breaching the provisions of Islamic canon law (Shari’a).

(d) Inheritance is a guaranteed right governed by the Islamic Shari’a.

Article 6.

The State safeguards the … Islamic heritage. It … strives to strengthen the bonds between the Islamic countries …

Article 7.

(b) The law regulates care for religious … instruction …

Article 9.

(a) Ownership, capital and work—in accordance with the principles of Islamic justice—are basic constituents of the social entity …

Article 18.

People are equal in human dignity, and citizens are equal before the law in public rights and duties. There shall be no discrimination among them on the basis of … religion or creed.

Article 22.

Freedom of conscience is absolute. The State guarantees the inviolability of worship, and the freedom to perform religious rites and hold religious parades and meetings in accordance with the customs observed in the country.

Article 23.

… Everyone has the right to express his opinion and publish it …, provided that the fundamental beliefs of Islamic doctrine are not infringed, … and … sectarianism is not aroused.

Article 27.

The freedom to form associations and unions … is guaranteed …, provided that the fundamentals of the [sic] religion … are not infringed.

Article 33.

(a) The King is … the loyal protector of the religion …

Article 89

(b) No member of the Consultative Council or the Chamber of Deputies shall be called to account for expressing his opinions or ideas in the Council or its committees unless the opinion expressed is prejudicial to the fundamentals of the [sic] religion …


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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