Freedom of religion in Colombia

Freedom of religion in Colombia is enforced by the State and well tolerated in the Colombian culture. The Republic of Colombia has an area of 439,735 square miles (1,138,908 square kilometers) and its population is estimated at 46 million. Although the Government does not keep official statistics on religious affiliation, a 2001 poll commissioned by the country's leading newspaper, El Tiempo, indicated that the religious demography is as follows:

  • 60% reported not practising their faith actively.

The Colombian Constitution of 1991 abolished the previous condition of the Roman Catholic Church as state church, and it includes two articles providing for freedom of worship:

  • Art. 13: States that "all people are legally born free and equal" and that they will not be discriminated on the basis of "gender, race, national or familial origin, language, religion, political or philosophical opinion".
  • Art. 19: Which expressly guarantees freedom of religion. "Freedom of religion is guaranteed. Every individual has the right to freely profess his/her religion and to disseminate it individually or collectively. All religious faiths and churches are equally free before the law."

Currently, there seem to be no social controversy or problem arising from religious conflict. Almost all cities and towns in Colombia have a church, but there are also temples, mosques and synagogues, especially in the largest cities.

References

International Religious Freedom Report 2004 on Colombia, U.S. Bureau of Democracy.

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