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La laïcité de l'État dans l'espace camerounais

Les Cahiers de droit
Consortium Erudit
Publication Date
DOI: 10.7202/043579ar
  • Education
  • Political Science
  • Religious Science


Of distant origin, the principle underlying the separation of Church and State is laid down in France under the Act of December 1901 and extended to Cameroon through the application of section 7 of the Convention of Mandate, followed by the Decree of March 28, 1933. These texts, plus the various constitutions of the Republic, its laws and regulations, establish the principle of free practice for all religions not in contravention of public order and good mores, namely that the State is neither religious nor ecclesiastic ; in all, the religious phenomenon remains outside the State. In fact, however, an analysis shows that the sociopolitical reality has profoundly watered down the principle of State secularism in Cameroon. The State is well aware of the role played by religions in the moral upbringing of citizens, and also in their general education. Through the initiatives taken by religions in the country, these do to a certain extent affect State neutrality with regard to religion. This explains the cooperation between the two powers : secular and religious, a collaboration all the more necessary as social peace does to some degree depend thereupon. This co-participation between them remains a precarious and fragile undertaking. Just the same, the religions — often acting on unavowed ambition — conduct themselves as true political forces ; and as such, they cannot be shut out of the tasks of building and running the State. In this context, there can no longer be spheres reserved for one power or the other.

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