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Freedom of religion in Panama

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Title: Freedom of religion in Panama  
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Subject: Religion in Panama, Freedom of religion in Ecuador, Freedom of religion, Freedom of religion in the United States, Freedom of religion in Botswana
Collection: Freedom of Religion by Country, Religion in Panama
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Freedom of religion in Panama

The Constitution of Panama provides for freedom of religion, with some qualifications, and other laws and policies contribute to the generally free practice of religion. The law at all levels protects this right in full against abuse, either by governmental or private actors. The Government generally respects religious freedom in practice. In 2007, the US government received no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.[1]

Contents

  • Religious demography 1
  • Formal status of religious freedom 2
  • Societal discrimination 3
  • References 4

Religious demography

The Government does not collect statistics on religious affiliation, but various sources estimate that 75 to 85 percent of the population identifies itself as Kuna) and Mama Tata (among Ngobe).[1]

Formal status of religious freedom

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, provided that "Christian morality and public order" are respected, and other laws and policies contributed to the generally free practice of religion. The law at all levels protects this right in full against abuse, either by governmental or private actors.[1]

Catholicism enjoys certain state-sanctioned advantages over other faiths. The Constitution recognizes Catholicism as "the religion of the majority" of citizens but does not designate it as the official state religion.[1]

The Government observes Good Friday and Christmas Day as national holidays.[1]

The Constitution provides that religious associations have "juridical capacity" and are free to manage and administer their property within the limits prescribed by law, the same as other "juridical persons." The Ministry of Government and Justice grants "juridical personality" through a relatively simple and transparent process. Juridical personality allows a religious group to apply for all tax benefits available to

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Panama: International Religious Freedom Report 2008.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ Ingvar Svanberg, David Westerlun. Islam outside the Arab world. Routledge.  

References

[1] Christian groups, including the Catholic, Episcopal,

In 2007, the US government received no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.[1]

Societal discrimination

In 2007, the US government received no reports of religious prisoners or detainees in the country or reports of forced religious conversion.[1]

The Constitution limits public offices that religious leaders may hold to those related to social assistance, education, and scientific research.[1]

The Government generally respects religious freedom in practice.[1]

The Constitution dictates that Catholicism be taught in public schools; however, parents have the right to exempt their children from religious instruction. The numerical predominance of Catholicism and the consideration given to it in the Constitution generally have not prejudiced other religious groups.[1]

Most foreign religious workers are granted temporary 3-month missionary worker visas. A 12-month extension customarily is granted but could take several months. Foreign missionaries who intend to remain longer than 15 months must repeat the entire application process. Such additional extensions usually are granted. Catholic priests and nuns and rabbis are eligible for a special 5-year visa.[1]

[1]

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