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Brazil - Constitution

Adopted on: 5 Oct 1988 (Document Status: 1993)

Article 5 [Equality] 

(0) All persons are equal before the law, without any distinction whatsoever, and Brazilians and foreigners resident in Brazil are assured of inviolability of the right of life, liberty, equality, security, and property, on the following terms: 
VI. freedom of conscience and of belief is inviolable, ensuring the free exercise of religious cults and guaranteeing, as set forth in the law, the protection of places of worship and their rites; 
VII. under the terms of the law, the rendering of religious creed or of philosophical or political belief, unless such are claimed for exemption from a legal obligation imposed upon everyone and the person refuses to perform an alternative obligation established by law;
Article 19 [Forbidden to the State] 
The Republic, the States, the Federal District, and the Municipalities are forbidden to: 
I. establish religious cults or churches, subsidize them, hamper their operation or maintain with them or their representatives relations of dependency or alliance, with the exception of cooperation for the public interest, as set forth in the law; 
Article 143 [Military Service] 
(1) It is incumbent upon the Armed forces, according to the law, to assign an alternative service to those who, in times of peace, after being enlisted, allege reasons of conscience, which shall be understood as reasons based on religious creed and philosophical or political belief for exemption from essentially military activities.
Article 210 [Elementary and Basic Curricula] 
(1) Religious education is optional and shall be given during the regular school hours of public elementary schools.
Article 213 [Public Funds] 
(0) Public funds are allocated to public schools, and may be channelled to community, religious, or philanthropic schools, as defined in the law, which: 
I. prove that they do not seek a profit and invest their surplus funds in education; 
II. ensure that their equity is assigned to another community, philanthropic, or religious school or to the Government in the event they cease their activities.
Note: Further information on the constitutional background of Brazil is provided by the International Constitutional Law Project at the University of Wuerzburg. 

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