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Constitutions serve as a window into their nation’s commitment to fundamental rights and liberties, with Pakistan’s 1973 Constitution standing as evidence of these commitments. Article 20 of the constitution is an essential provision that protects freedom of religion and manages religious institutions. Article 20 provides every citizen the right to profess, practice and propagate their religion while also acknowledging religious denominations and sects’ rights to establish, maintain and manage religious institutions. We will explore Article 20, learn its key points, and understand its profound impact in protecting religious freedom as well as religious institutions’ autonomy.
Overview of Article 20 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Article 20 is an integral component of Pakistan’s Constitution, protecting religious freedom and autonomy of religious institutions. This provision affirms the nation’s dedication to safeguarding these rights while still upholding laws, public order, and morality.
Article 20 States
20. Freedom to profess religion and to manage religious institutions.
Subject to law, public order and morality:-
- every citizen shall have the right to profess, practice and propagate his religion; and
- every religious denomination and every sect thereof shall have the right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions.
Right to Profess, Practice, and Propagate Religion
Article 20 provides every citizen the freedom to openly practice, proclaim and spread their religion. People can freely practice and share their religious beliefs thanks to this fundamental right.
Rights of Religious Denominations and Sects
This provision ensures that each religious denomination and sect can establish, manage and oversee their religious institutions autonomously to provide spiritual guidance to their followers.
Subject to Law, Public Order, and Morality
While these rights are guaranteed, Article 20 emphasizes that they are subject to the law, public order, and morality. This recognition reflects the need for legal regulation to maintain social harmony and ethical conduct.
Key Points of Article 20 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Religious Liberty: Under Article 20, all citizens are guaranteed the freedom and right to openly practice and propagate their religion – providing both freedom of religion as well as religious expression.
Autonomy of Religious Institutions: This provision recognizes and affirms the autonomy of religious institutions, permitting them to establish, manage and operate their institutions for spiritual welfare of their followers.
Adherence to Law and Morality: Article 20 stresses the necessity of adhering to laws, public order, and morality to promote social harmony and ethical conduct.
Crux of Article 20 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Article 20 is intended to protect religious institutions’ autonomy while upholding citizens’ freedom to freely declare, practice, and share their faith. Furthermore, this clause stresses the need to abide by legal requirements, moral standards, and public order standards in order to keep society peaceful and orderly.
Conclusion: Article 20 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Article 20 of Pakistan’s 1973 Constitution serves as a safeguard for religious liberty and the autonomy of religious institutions. Guaranteeing all citizens the right to freely express and practice their religion, it also enables religious denominations and sects to operate autonomously for the spiritual wellbeing of their followers. This article highlights Pakistan’s commitment to upholding religious freedom and autonomy of religious institutions while acknowledging adherence to law, public order, and morality. Pakistan continues its path toward development and progress with Article 20 as a cornerstone in creating an equitable society, where individuals may freely express their beliefs while religious institutions can offer spiritual guidance based on their principles. This law represents Pakistan’s commitment to religious diversity within a regulated framework that safeguards its interests.