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Religion: Persons belonging to minorities face legal and practical obstacles in exercising or manifesting their religion or belief?

Key Area:
Public Life, Culture, Sport & Media
Discrimination, Equality
01/03/2012 - 17:33
Short Answer

There is no evidence that persons belonging to minorities face legal obstacles in exercising or manifesting their religion or belief.

Qualitative Info

Article 13 of the Portuguese Constitution, on the Principle of Equality, prohibits discrimination on the grounds of ancestry, sex, race, language, country of origin, religion, political or ideological convictions, education, economic situation, social condition or sexual orientation. Article 41 on Freedom of Conscience, of Religion and of Form of Worship states that:

1. The freedom of conscience, of religion and of form of worship is inviolable.  
2. No one may be persecuted, deprived of rights or exempted from civic obligations or duties because of his convictions or religious observance. 
3. No authority may question anyone in relation to his convictions or religious observance, save in order to gather statistical data that cannot be individually identified, nor may anyone be prejudiced in any way for refusing to answer.
4. Churches and other religious communities are separate from the state and are free to organise themselves and to exercise their functions and form of worship.
5. The freedom to teach any religion within the ambit of the religious belief in question and to use the religion’s own media for the pursuit of its activities is guaranteed.
6. The right to be a conscientious objector, as laid down by law, is guaranteed.

The Comissão da Liberdade Religiosa (CLR) [Commission of Religious Freedom] was created in 2001 through the Law on Religious Freedom (Law no. 16/2001 of 22nd of June), which states the principle of freedom of conscience, religion and form of worship and the principle of equality and non-discrimination based on religion and belief.


Constitution of the Portuguese Republic (2005, seventh revision),, Date of access: 24.02.2012.

Law on Religious Freedom (2001) in Diário da República - I Série-A, no. 134 - 22 June 2001,, Date of access: 24.02.2012.

Groups affected/interested Religious minorities
Type (R/D) Religious intolerance
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Policing - law enforcement, Religion
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