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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Sunni

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Sunni Muslim (90.4%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 yes
Does the constitution state an official religion?3 not stated
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 yes [Articles 6, 38]
Does the constitution protect religious equality/non-discrimination?3 yes [Article 31]


Constitution Year3 2005
Last Amended3 2017
Source3 Constitute Project
Translation3 Original was written in English.
Current as of3 September 7, 2018

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)3



Grateful to Almighty God ...


Mindful of religious ... diversity in the Sudan,


Further committed to gearing governance, in the coming phase of our political advancement, towards the enhancement of ... deepening of religious tolerance and building trust and confidence in the society generally,


Article 1. Nature of the state.

(1) The Republic of the Sudan is [a] ... multi-religious ... country where such diversities co-exist.


(3) The Sudan is an all embracing homeland where religions and cultures are sources of strength, harmony and inspiration.

Article 4. Fundamental bases of the constitution.

This Constitution is predicated upon and guided by the following principles:


(b) religions, beliefs, traditions and customs are the source of moral strength and inspiration for the Sudanese people,


Article 5. Sources of legislation.

(1) Nationally enacted legislation having effect only in respect of the Northern states of the Sudan shall have as its sources of legislation Islamic Sharia and the consensus of the people.

(2) Nationally enacted legislation applicable to Southern Sudan or states of Southern Sudan shall have as its sources of legislation popular consensus, the values and the customs of the people of the Sudan, including their traditions and religious beliefs, having regard to Sudan’s diversity.

(3) Where national legislation is currently in operation or is to be enacted and its source is religion or custom, then a state, and subject to Article 26(a) herein in the case of Southern Sudan, the majority of whose residents do not practice such religion or customs may:

(a) either introduce legislation so as to allow practices or establish institutions, in that state consistent with their religion or customs, or

(b) refer the law to the Council of States to be approved by a two-thirds majority of all the representatives or initiate national legislation which will provide for such necessary alternative institutions as may be appropriate.

Article 6. Religious rights.

The State shall respect the following religious rights:

(a) worship or assemble in connection with any religion or belief and to establish and maintain places for these purposes,

(b) establish and maintain appropriate charitable or humanitarian institutions,

(c) acquire and possess movable and immovable property and make, acquire and use the necessary articles and materials related to the rites or customs of a religion or belief,

(d) write, issue and disseminate religious publications,

(e) teach religion or belief in places suitable for these purposes,

(f) solicit and receive voluntary financial and other contributions from individuals, private and public institutions,

(g) train, appoint, elect or designate by succession appropriate religious leaders called for by the requirements and standards of any religion or belief,

(h) observe days of rest, celebrate holidays and ceremonies in accordance with the precepts of religious beliefs,

(i) communicate with individuals and communities in matters of religion and belief at national and international levels.

Article 13. Education, science, art and culture.


(5) The State shall protect Sudan’s ... places of national ... religious importance ...


Article 16. Morals and public integrity.

(1) The State shall enact laws to protect the society from corruption[,] delinquency and social evils and steer the society as a whole towards virtuous social values consistent with religions ... of the Sudan.


Article 20. Fiscal levies.


(2) Zakat is a duty on Muslims; its collection, expenditure and administration shall be regulated in the Northern states by law.

Article 23. Duties of the citizen.


(2) In particular every citizen shall:


(b) abhor violence, promote harmony, fraternity and tolerance among all people of the Sudan in order to transcend religious ... and sectarian divisions,


Article 31. Equality before the law.

All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without discrimination, as to ... religious creed ... to the equal protection of the law.

Article 36. Restrictions on death penalty.

(1) No death penalty shall be imposed, save as retribution, hudud or punishment for extremely serious offences in accordance with the law.

(2) The death penalty shall not be imposed on a person under the age of eighteen or a person who has attained the age of seventy except in cases of retribution or hudud.


Article 38. Freedom of creed and worship.

Every person shall have the right to the freedom of religious creed and worship, and to declare his religion or creed and manifest the same, by way of worship, education, practice or performance of rites or ceremonies, subject to requirements of law and public order; no person shall be coerced to adopt such faith, that he does not believe in, nor to practice rites or services to which he does not voluntarily consent to.

Article 39. Freedom of expression and media.


(3) All media shall abide by professional ethics, shall refrain from inciting religious ... hatred ...

Article 40. Freedom of assembly and association.


(3) No association shall function as a political party at the national level unless it has:

(a) its membership open to all Sudanese irrespective of religion ...


Article 44. Right to education.

(1) Education is a right for every citizen and the State shall provide access to education without discrimination as to religion ...


Article 47. Ethnic and cultural communities.

Ethnic and cultural communities shall have the right to freely enjoy and develop their particular cultures; members of such communities shall have the right to practice their beliefs ... observe their religions and raise their children within the framework of their respective cultures and customs.

Article 82. Duties of the government of national unity.

The Government of National Unity shall undertake the following duties:


(b) establishment of a decentralized democratic system of governance taking into account the ... religious ... diversity ...


Article 136. Guidelines for inclusiveness in the national civil service.

The National Civil Service, notably at the senior and middle-levels, shall be representative of the people of the Sudan; to ensure this, the following principles and guidelines shall be recognized and observed:


(c) no level of government shall discriminate against any qualified Sudanese citizen on the basis of religion ...


Article 154. Respect for human rights in the national capital.

Human rights and fundamental freedoms as specified in this Constitution, including respect for all religions, beliefs and customs, being of particular significance in the National Capital, which symbolizes national unity, shall be guaranteed and enforced in the National Capital.

Article 155. Law enforcement agencies in the national capital.

Law enforcement agencies of the National Capital shall be representative of the population of the Sudan and shall be adequately trained and made sensitive to the cultural, religious ... diversity in the Sudan.

Article 156. Dispensing justice in the national capital.

Without prejudice to the competence of any national institution to promulgate laws judges and law enforcement agencies shall, in dispensing justice and enforcing law in the National Capital, be guided by the following:

(a) tolerance shall be on the basis of peaceful coexistence between the Sudanese people of different cultures, religions and traditions,


(d) the judicial discretion of courts to impose penalties on non-Muslims shall observe the long-established Sharia principle that non-Muslims are not subject to prescribed penalties and therefore remitted penalties shall apply,


Article 157. The Non-Muslims Rights Special Commission.

(1) The Presidency shall establish in the National Capital a special commission for the rights of Non-Muslims which shall have the following functions:

(a) to ensure that the rights of Non-Muslims are protected in accordance with the general principles provided for under Articles 154 and 156 of this Constitution,

(b) ensure that Non-Muslims are not adversely affected by the application of the Sharia law in the National Capital.

(2) The special commission shall submit its observations and recommendations to the Presidency.

Article 185. Guiding principles for equitable sharing of resources and common wealth.

(1) Resources and common wealth of the Sudan shall be shared equitably to enable each level of government to discharge its legal and constitutional responsibilities and duties and to ensure that the quality of life, dignity and living conditions of all citizens are promoted without discrimination on grounds of ... religion ...


Article 201. Dual banking system.


(2) A dual banking system shall be established, and shall consist of an Islamic system that shall operate in Northern Sudan and a conventional banking system to operate in southern Sudan.


Article 202. Restructuring and management of the Central Bank of Sudan.

(1) The Central Bank of Sudan shall be restructured so as to reflect the duality of the banking system in the Sudan. The Central Bank of Sudan shall use and develop two sets of banking instruments, one Islamic and the other Conventional, to regulate and supervise the implementation of a single monetary policy through:

(a) an Islamic financing window in Northern Sudan under a Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sudan using Islamic financing instruments to implement the national monetary policy in Northern Sudan, and

(b) the Bank of Southern Sudan, headed by a Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sudan, to manage the conventional window using conventional financing instruments in implementing the same national monetary policy in Southern Sudan.


(8) All financial institutions shall be subject to internationally recognized regulatory and prudential standards for Islamic and conventional finance, as set by the Central Bank of Sudan.


Article 211. Powers of the President in the state of emergency.

The President of the Republic, with the consent of the First Vice President, may during the state of emergency take, by virtue of law or exceptional order, any measures that shall not derogate from the provisions of this Constitution and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement except as may be provided herein:

(a) to suspend part of the Bill of Rights. However, there shall be no infringement on ... the right of non-discrimination on the basis of ... religious creed ...


Schedule C: Powers of states.

The exclusive executive and legislative powers of a state of the Sudan shall be as follows:


(10) Regulation of religious matters;


[Articles pertaining to the government of Southern Sudan are omitted. See entry South Sudan.]


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 if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

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