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The St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Constitution Order 2009

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Protection of freedom of conscience
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131.—(1) Except with his or her own free consent, no person shall be hindered in his or her enjoyment of his or her freedom of conscience, which includes freedom of thought and of religion, freedom to change his or her religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and either in public or in private, to manifest and propagate his or her religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

(2) Except with his or her own free consent (or, if he or she is a minor, the consent of his or her parent or guardian), no person attending any place of education shall be required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or attend any religious ceremony or observance if that instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion other than his or her own.

(3) No religious community or denomination shall be prevented from or hindered in providing religious instruction for persons of that community or denomination in the course of any education provided by it whether or not it is in receipt of any government subsidy, grant or other form of financial assistance designed to meet, in whole or in part, the cost of such education.

(4) No person shall be compelled to take any oath which is contrary to his or her religion or belief or to take any oath in a manner which is contrary to his or her religion or belief.

(5) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to breach this section to the extent that the law in question is necessary in a democratic society—

(a)in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or

(b)for the protection of the rights and freedoms of other persons, including the right of any person to observe and practise his or her religion or belief without the unsolicited intervention of adherents of any other religion or belief.

(6) References in this section to a religion shall be construed as including references to a religious denomination, and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly.

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