Religion in Algeria is dominated by Muslims with over ninety-nine percent of the population adhering to Sunni Islam of the Maliki school of jurisprudence. The remainder include Christians, Jews, Ahmadi Muslims, Shia Muslims, and Ibadi Muslims. Estimates of the Christian population range from 20,000 to 200,000 and most are believed to be foreign residents. There are under 200 Jews still living in Algeria by some estimates according to the US department of State.
Islam, the religion of almost all of the Algerian people, pervades most aspects of life. It provides the society with its central social and cultural identity and gives most individuals their basic ethical beliefs.
Since the mid-20th-century Algerian War, led by the French, also called the Algerian Revolution, regimes have sought to develop an Islamic Arab socialist state, and a cabinet-level ministry acts for the government in religious affairs. Although the Boumediene regime consistently sought, to a far greater extent than its predecessor, to increase Islamic awareness and to reduce Western influence, the rights of non-Muslims continued to be respected. The Bendjedid government pursued a similar policy.
Before the Arab incursions, most of the Berber inhabitants of the area's mountainous interior adopted traditional Berber mythology. Some had adopted Judaism, and in the coastal plains many had accepted Christianity under the Romans. St. Augustine of Hippo, one of the most important theologians in Roman Catholicism, was born in Thagaste (Souk Ahras) and taught in Hippo (Annaba). A wave of Arab incursions into the Maghreb in the latter half of the 7th century and the early 8th century introduced Islam to parts of the area.
During the 7th century, Muslims reached North Africa, and by the beginning of the 8th century the Berbers had been for the most part converted to Islam. Sunni Islam, the larger of the two great branches of the faith, is the form practiced by the overwhelming majority of Muslims in Algeria, while there is a small Ibadi minority. There is no significant Shia presence.
One of the dominant characteristics of Islam in North Africa was the cult of holy men, or maraboutism. Marabouts were believed to have barakah, or divine grace, as reflected in their ability to perform miracles. Recognized as just and spiritual men, marabouts often had extensive followings, locally and regionally. Muslims believed that baraka could be inherited, or that a marabout could confer it on a follower.
The turuq, meaning way or path, or brotherhoods, were another feature of Islam in the Maghreb from the Middle Ages onward. Each brotherhood had its own prescribed path to salvation, its own rituals, signs, symbols, and mysteries. The brotherhoods were prevalent in the rural and mountainous areas of Algeria and other parts of North Africa. Their leaders were often marabouts or shaykhs. The more orthodox Sunni Muslims dominated the urban centers, where traditionally trained men of religion, the ulema, conducted the religious and legal affairs of the Muslim community.
Jews and Christians, whose religions Allah according to the Qur'an recognized as the precursors of Islam and who were called "people of the book" because of their holy scriptures, were permitted to continue their own communal and religious life as long as they recognized the temporal domain of Muslim authorities, paid their taxes, and did not proselytize or otherwise interfere with the practice of Islam.
Soon after arriving in Algeria, the French colonial regime set about undermining traditional Muslim Algerian culture. The French ideas such as freedom of religion, however, vastly differed from the Islamic way of living. For this reason, Islam was a strong element of the resistance movement to the French.
After independence, the Algerian government asserted state control over religious activities for purposes of national consolidation and political control. Islam became the state religion in the new constitution and the religion of its leaders. No laws could be enacted that would be contrary to Islamic tenets or that would in any way undermine Islamic beliefs and principles. The state monopolized the building of mosques, and the Ministry of Religious Affairs controlled an estimated 5,000 public mosques by the mid-1980s. Imams were trained, appointed, and paid by the state, and the Friday khutba, or sermon, was issued to them by the Ministry of Religious Affairs. That ministry also administered religious property, the habus, provided for religious education and training in schools, and created special institutes for Islamic learning.
Those measures, however, did not satisfy everyone. As early as 1964, a militant Islamic movement, called Al Qiyam (values), emerged and became the precursor of the Islamic Salvation Front of the 1990s. Al Qiyam called for a more dominant role for Islam in Algeria's legal and political systems and opposed what it saw as Western practices in the social and cultural life of Algerians.This proved to be the most difficult challenge for the immediate post-independent regimes as they tried to incorporate an Islamic national identity alongside socialist policies. Whereas the new leaders of Algeria saw Islam and Socialism as both compatible and features of Algerian culture and society; radical Islamists saw Islam as the only defining characteristic and in fact incompatible.
Houari Boumédiène largely contained militant Islamism during his reign, although it remained throughout the 1970s under a different name and with a new organization. Following Boumediene's death, Chadli Bendjedid became president in 1979. Chadli's regime was much more tolerant with Islamists, and with Algeria in the midst of an socio-economic crisis including unemployment and inflation, social tensions were high. Policies of Arabization (increasing Arabic education and the use of Arabic in professional institutions) had failed to come to fruition: French remained the language of the political elite and French speaking students were prioritised for jobs. Thus, the movement began spreading to university campuses, where it was encouraged by the state as a counterbalance to left-wing student movements. By the 1980s, the movement had become even stronger, and in November 1982, bloody clashes erupted at the University of Algiers in Algiers. The violence resulted in the state's cracking down on the movement, a confrontation that would intensify throughout the 1980s and early 1990s (see The Islamist Factor, ch. 4).
The rise of Islamism had a significant impact on Algerian society. More women began wearing the veil, some because they had become more conservative religiously and others because the veil kept them from being harassed on the streets, on campuses, or at work. Islamists also prevented the enactment of a more liberal family code despite pressure from feminist groups and associations.
Christianity came to North Africa in the Roman era. Its influence declined during the chaotic period of the Vandal invasions but was strengthened in the succeeding Byzantine period, only to disappear gradually after the Arab invasions of the seventh century. There is also a small growing Pentecostal and evangelical community.
The Roman Catholic Church was reintroduced after the French conquest, when the Diocese of Algiers was established in 1838. Proselytization of the Muslim population was at first strictly prohibited; later the prohibition was less vigorously enforced, but few conversions took place. The several Roman Catholic missions established in Algeria were concerned with charitable and relief work; the establishment of schools, workshops, and infirmaries; and the training of staff for the new establishments. Some of the missionaries of these organizations remained in the country after independence, working among the poorer segments of the population. In the early 1980s, the Roman Catholic population numbered about 45,000, most of whom were foreigners or Algerians who had married French or Italians. In addition, there was a Protestant community. Because the government adopted a policy of not inquiring about religious affiliation in censuses or surveys to avoid provoking religious tensions, the number of Christians in the early 1990s was not known.
The Bahá'í Faith in Algeria dates from 1952. Though the religion achieved some growth and organization through 1967 including converts, the period of the independence of Algeria when the country adopted Islamic practices in rejection of colonial influences and subsequently the religion was effectively banned in 1968. However more recently the Association of Religion Data Archives and Wolfram Alpha estimated the population of Bahá'ís at 3.3–3.8 thousand Bahá'ís in 2005 and 2010.
The Jewish community of Algeria is of considerable antiquity, with some members claiming descent from immigrants from Palestine at the time of the Romans. The majority are descendants of refugees from Spanish persecution early in the fifteenth century. They numbered about 140,000 before the Algerian War, but at independence in 1962 nearly all of them left the country. Because the 1870 Crémieux Decrees, which aimed at assimilating the colonists of Algeria to France, gave Jews full French citizenship, most members of the Jewish community emigrated to France. The small remaining Jewish population appeared to have stabilized at roughly 1,000. It was thought to be close to this number in the early 1990s. Although no untoward incidents occurred during the Arab-Israeli wars of 1967 and 1973, a group of youths sacked the only remaining synagogue in Algiers in early 1977.
A 2015 study estimates some 380,000 Christian believers from a Muslim background in the country, most of whom subscribe to some form of evangelical Christianity.
Algeria ( (listen) al-JEER-ee-ə; Arabic: الجزائر, romanized: al-Jazāʾir, Algerian Arabic: الدزاير, romanized: al-dzāyīr; French: Algérie), officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria (Arabic: الجمهورية الجزائرية الديمقراطية الشعبية, romanized: al-Jumhūriyya al-Jazāʾiriyya ad-Dīmuqrāṭiyya aš-Šaʿbiyya, French: République Algérienne Démocratique et Populaire), is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. The capital and most populous city is Algiers, located in the far north of the country on the Mediterranean coast. With an area of 2,381,741 square kilometres (919,595 sq mi), Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, the world's largest Arab country, and the largest in Africa. Algeria is bordered to the northeast by Tunisia, to the east by Libya, to the west by Morocco, to the southwest by the Western Saharan territory, Mauritania, and Mali, to the southeast by Niger, and to the north by the Mediterranean Sea. The country is a semi-presidential republic consisting of 48 provinces and 1,541 communes (counties). It has the highest human development index of all non-island African countries.
Ancient Algeria has known many empires and dynasties, including ancient Numidians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Umayyads, Abbasids, Idrisid, Aghlabid, Rustamid, Fatimids, Zirid, Hammadids, Almoravids, Almohads, Spaniards, Ottomans and the French colonial empire. Berbers are the indigenous inhabitants of Algeria.
Algeria is a regional and middle power. It supplies large amounts of natural gas to Europe, and energy exports are the backbone of the economy. According to OPEC Algeria has the 16th largest oil reserves in the world and the second largest in Africa, while it has the 9th largest reserves of natural gas. Sonatrach, the national oil company, is the largest company in Africa. Algeria has one of the largest militaries in Africa and the largest defence budget on the continent; most of Algeria's weapons are imported from Russia, with whom they are a close ally. Algeria is a member of the African Union, the Arab League, OPEC, the United Nations and is a founding member of the Arab Maghreb Union.
On 2 April 2019, president Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned after nearly 20 years in power, following pressure from mass protests against a fifth term.Algeria–Holy See relations
Algeria–Holy See relations are foreign relations between Algeria and the Holy See. There have been tensions in the relationship in recent years due to criticism of the Algerian government by the Vatican and increasing restrictions imposed on Algerian Catholics.Apostasy in Islam
Apostasy in Islam (Arabic: ردة riddah or ارتداد irtidād) is commonly defined as the conscious abandonment of Islam by a Muslim in word or through deed. It includes the act of converting to another religion or non-acceptance of faith to be irreligious, by a person who was born in a Muslim family or who had previously accepted Islam. The definition of apostasy from Islam, and whether and how it should be punished, are matters of controversy and Islamic scholars differ in their opinions on these questions.According to the classical legal doctrine, apostasy in Islam includes not only an explicit renunciation of the Islamic faith (whether for another religion or irreligiosity), but also any deed or utterance implying unbelief, such as one denying a "fundamental tenet or creed" of Islam. Islamic jurists did not formulate general rules for establishing unbelief, instead compiling sometimes lengthy lists of statements and actions which in their view implied apostasy. Apostasy does not include individuals who were forced to embrace Islam under conditions of duress, or acts against Islam or conversion to another religion that is involuntary, forced or done as concealment out of fear of persecution or during war (Taqiyya or Kitman).Until the late 19th century, the vast majority of Sunni and Shia jurists held that for adult men, apostasy from Islam was a crime as well as a sin, an act of treason punishable with the death penalty, typically after a waiting period to allow the apostate time to repent and to return to Islam. The kind of apostasy which the jurists generally deemed punishable was of the political kind, although there were considerable legal differences of opinion on this matter. Wael Hallaq states that "[in] a culture whose lynchpin is religion, religious principles and religious morality, apostasy is in some way equivalent to high treason in the modern nation-state". Early Islamic jurists developed legal institutions to circumvent this harsh punishment, and the standard for apostasy from Islam was set so high that practically no apostasy verdict could be passed before the 11th century. However, later jurists lowered the bar for applying the death penalty, allowing judges to interpret the apostasy law in different ways, which they did sometimes leniently and sometimes strictly. In the late 19th century, the use of criminal penalties for apostasy fell into disuse, although civil penalties were still applied.According to Abdul Rashied Omar, the majority of modern Islamic jurists continue to regard apostasy as a crime deserving the death penalty. Some regard apostasy in Islam as a form of religious crime, although others do not. Others argue that the death penalty is an inappropriate punishment, inconsistent with the Qur'anic injunctions such as Quran 88:21–22 or "no compulsion in religion"; and/or that it was a man-made rule enacted in the early Islamic community to prevent and punish the equivalent of desertion or treason, and should be enforced only if apostasy becomes a mechanism of public disobedience and disorder (fitna). According to Khaled Abou El Fadl, moderate Muslims do not believe that apostasy requires punishment. Critics argue that the death penalty or other punishment for apostasy in Islam is a violation of universal human rights, and an issue of freedom of faith and conscience.As of 2014, laws in various Muslim-majority countries prescribed for the apostate (Arabic: مرتد murtadd) sentences ranging from execution to a prison term to no punishment. Sharia courts in some countries use civil code to void the Muslim apostate's marriage and to deny child-custody rights as well as inheritance rights. From 1985 to 2006, three governments executed four individuals for apostasy from Islam: "one in Sudan in 1985; two in Iran, in 1989 and 1998; and one in Saudi Arabia in 1992." Twenty-three Muslim-majority countries, as of 2013, additionally covered apostasy from Islam through their criminal laws. The Tunisian Constitution of 2014 stipulates protection from attacks based on accusations of apostasy. In a Pew Research Center poll, public support for capital punishment for apostasy among Muslims ranged from 78% in Afghanistan to less than 1% in Kazakhstan.Bahá'í Faith in Algeria
The Bahá'í Faith in Algeria began about 1952. In 1954 the first Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assembly of Algiers was elected. In 1963 a survey of the community counted 2 assemblies, 2 organized groups (between 1 and 9 adults) of Bahá'ís and hosted a regional National Spiritual Assembly for Algeria and Tunisia in 1967 however pioneers were expelled in late 1968 during the period of the independence of Algeria when the country adopted Islamic practices in rejection of colonial influences. However more recently the Association of Religion Data Archives and Wolfram Alpha estimated 3.3–3.8 thousand Bahá'ís in 2005 and 2010.Blasphemy law in Algeria
The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria prohibits blasphemy against Islam by using legislation rather than by using Sharia. The penalty for blasphemy may be years of imprisonment as well as a fine. Every Algerian child has an opportunity to learn what blasphemy is because Islam is a compulsory subject in public schools, which are regulated jointly by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Religious Affairs.El Alia Cemetery
El Alia Cemetery (Arabic: مقبرة العالية) is a cemetery in a suburb of Algiers in the commune of Oued Smar in Algeria. The name "El Alia" means in Arabic which is high, but came from the surname of the donor of the land in 1928, Hamza El-Alia.El Kettar Cemetery
El Kettar Cemetery (Arabic: ش كتر مقبرة) is one of the most famous cemeteries in Algeria. It is situated in a suburb of the city of Algiers in the commune of Oued Koriche. It opened in 1838 replacing the cemetery of Sidi Abderrahmane destroyed in 1830. It was previously known as Dar El Ghrib (the unknown's residence) since foreigners of the city's limit were buried there. The current name, El Kettar (distillery in Arabic), is due to the distillation of jasmine in the Bridja, a funeral monument dating from the Ottoman era. It was built on a steep hill cemetery, because at the time of colonization, the French authorities forbade Muslims to bury their dead in flat terrain.
It comprises tombs of numerous Algerian notables and it is one of the most preferred place for actors and actresses and other artists (opera singers, musicians, painters, sculptors, architects, writers, poets). It also includes the tombs of several scientists, academicians and sportspeople.
The cemetery also contains paintings by Émile Gaudissard.Freedom of religion in Africa by country
The status of religious freedom in Africa varies from country to country. States can differ based on whether or not they guarantee equal treatment under law for followers of different religions, whether they establish a state religion (and the legal implications that this has for both practitioners and non-practitioners), the extent to which religious organizations operating within the country are policed, and the extent to which religious law is used as a basis for the country's legal code.
There are further discrepancies between some countries' self-proclaimed stances of religious freedom in law and the actual practice of authority bodies within those countries: a country's establishment of religious equality in their constitution or laws does not necessarily translate into freedom of practice for residents of the country. Additionally, similar practices (such as having citizens identify their religious preference to the government or on identification cards) can have different consequences depending on other sociopolitical circumstances specific to the countries in question.
Most countries in Africa legally establish that freedom of religion is a right conferred to all individuals. The extent to which this is enforced in practice varies greatly from country to country. Several countries have anti-discrimination laws which prohibit religious discrimination. Many countries, particularly in West Africa and Southern Africa, have a high degree of religious tolerance, both as enforced by the government, and as reflected by societal attitudes. Others, however, have significant levels of religious discrimination, either practiced by government apparatuses or by the general public. Groups facing significant levels of legal discrimination in Africa include Muslims (in majority Christian countries), Christians (in majority Muslim countries), Bahai Faith practitioners, Ahmadiyya Muslims (in Muslim countries), and Rastafarians. Additionally, some countries have significant levels of societal animosity against atheists. Some countries ban witchcraft.
Several countries establish Islam as a state religion, and some countries with significant Muslim populations also have significant government oversight of Islamic practice in the country, up to and including the establishment of religious Islamic courts, which are most commonly used for family law. These courts are usually present in addition to secular courts, and typically have a subordinate role, although this is not always the case.
Several countries require that religious organizations register with the government, and some ban the establishment of religious political parties. Several countries provide funding for religious institutions and/or pilgrimages.
Religiously motivated violence is present in some countries, particularly ones that have a high level of political instability or active insurgencies.Freedom of religion in Algeria
Freedom of religion in Algeria is regulated by the Algerian Constitution, which declares Islam to be the state religion (Article 2) but also declares that "freedom of creed and opinion is inviolable" (Article 36); it prohibits discrimination, Article 29 states "All citizens are equal before the law. No discrimination shall prevail because
of birth, race, sex, opinion or any other personal or social condition or circumstance".
In practice, the government generally respects this, with some limited exceptions. The government follows a de facto policy of tolerance by allowing, in limited instances, the conduct of religious services by non-Muslim faiths in the capital which are open to the public. The small Christian and tiny Jewish populations generally practice their faiths without government interference. The law does not recognize marriages between Muslim women and non-Muslim men; it does however recognise marriages between Muslim men and non-Muslim women. By law, children follow the religion of their fathers, even if they are born abroad and are citizens of their (non-Muslim) country of birth.Henri Teissier
Henri Antoine Marie Teissier, born on 21 July 1929 in Lyon, is a French-Algerian Catholic Bishop of Algiers and Archbishop Emeritus of Algiers.Human rights in Algeria
Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who has been in power since 1999, lifted a state of emergency in early 2011 and human rights have improved over the last few years. However, the country continues to restrict human rights in significant ways. Extensive nationwide protests, partly over these restrictions, have been raging since 2010.
Perhaps the most serious challenges to human rights in Algeria are the substantial restrictions on freedom of association and of assembly. There are also serious controls on freedom of expression and of the press. Other issues include extensive corruption, official impunity, the overuse of pretrial detention, substandard prison conditions, prisoner abuse, the absence of a free judiciary, restrictions on freedom of movement, violence and discrimination against women, limited workers' rights, and the commission by government agents of arbitrary killings. According to the Human Rights Watch report from 2017, Algerian authorities increasingly resorted to criminal prosecutions in 2016 against bloggers, journalists, and media figures for peaceful speech, using articles in the penal code criminalizing "offending the president", "insulting state officials" or "denigrating Islam". The report added that they have also prosecuted labor activists who organized or called for peaceful demonstrations on charges such as "unauthorized gathering".Islam in Algeria
Islam is the majority religion in Algeria. The vast majority of citizens are Sunni Muslims belonging to Maliki school of jurisprudence, with a minority of Ibadi, most of whom live in the M'zab Valley region. Islam provides the society with its central social and cultural identity and gives most individuals their basic ethical and attitudinal orientation. Orthodox observance of the faith is much less widespread and steadfast than is identification with Islam. There are also Sufi philosophies which arose as a reaction to theoretical perspectives of some scholars.Ministry of Religious Affairs and Endowments (Algeria)
The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Wakfs (Arabic: وزارة الشؤون الدينية والأوقاف, French: Ministère des affaires religieuses et des wakfs) is a ministry of Algeria. Its head office is in Hydra, Algiers.Of Gods and Men (film)
Of Gods and Men is a 2010 French drama film directed by Xavier Beauvois, starring Lambert Wilson and Michael Lonsdale. Its original French language title is Des hommes et des dieux, which means "Of Men and of Gods" and refers to a verse from the Bible shown at the beginning of the film. It centers on the monastery of Tibhirine, where nine Trappist monks lived in harmony with the largely Muslim population of Algeria, until seven of them were kidnapped and assassinated in 1996 during the Algerian Civil War.Largely a tale of a peaceful situation between local Christians and Muslims before becoming a lethal one due to external forces, the screenplay focuses on the preceding chain of events in decay of government, expansion of terrorism, and the monks' confrontation with both the terrorists and the government authorities that led up to their deaths. Principal photography took place at an abandoned monastery in Azrou, Morocco.
The film premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Grand Prix, the festival's second most prestigious award. It became a critical and commercial success in its domestic market, and won both the Lumières Award and César Award for Best Film.Outline of Algeria
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Algeria:
Algeria – former French colony and the largest country in Africa, located in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.Protestant Church of Algeria
The Protestant Church of Algeria (EPA French: Eglise protestante d'Algérie) is a federation of Protestant churches from the Reformed and Methodist traditions established in 1972 in Algeria. It is officially recognised by the government of Algeria as the Association of the Protestant Church of Algeria (French: Association de l'Eglise protestante d'Algérie).While exact numbers are not precise, estimates of members range from 100,000 to 150,000 in about 40 to 50 parishes nationwide, primarily in the northern coastal region of the country.St. Eugene Cemetery
St. Eugene Cemetery (Arabic: سانت يوجين مقبرة) is one of the most famous cemeteries in Algeria. It is situated in a suburb of the city of Algiers in the commune of Bologhine. Covering an area of 14.5 hectares, it lies at the foot of Notre Dame d'Afrique, and is maintained by twenty employees In 2012, the President of the French Republic François Hollande visited it.It comprises tombs of numerous Algerian notables and it is one of the most preferred place for actors and actresses and other artists (opera singers, musicians, painters, sculptors, architects, writers, poets). It also includes the tombs of several scientists, academicians and sportspeople.Tourism in Algeria
Algeria is the largest country on the African continent and the 10th largest country in terms of total area. Located in North Africa, one of the main tourist attractions is the Sahara, the second largest desert in the world. Some sand dunes can reach 180 meters in height. Algeria has been a member of the World Tourism Organization since 1976. According to a report of the World Tourism Organization published in 2014, Algeria is the 4th largest tourist destination in Africa in 2013 with 2,7 million foreign tourists, and ranks 111th on the international tourism scene, according to the London-based World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC). The tourism sector in Algeria accounts for 3.9% of the volume of exports, 9.5% of the productive investment rate and 8.1% of the Gross Domestic Product.
The main competitors are other Mediterranean countries, the majority of which have developed a strong tourism-based economy. The tourism sector is still underdeveloped in Algeria concerning accommodation and other services. For this reason, the government launched a strategic plan to boost this sector by 2025.According to Gallup's Law and Order Index, which measures personal safety as well as personal experiences of crime and law enforcement, Algeria ranked 7th in the world's safest countries for 2017.According to the U.S. News & World Report Algeria is ranked among the top 80 countries in the world in 2018. In its Best Countries Ranking published each year, the weekly draws up a ranking based on several criteria such as business, citizenship, cultural influence, heritage, quality of life or the possibility of adventures.The US national newspaper USA Today, has ranked Constantine among the eleven cities to visit the world in 2018. The newspaper was based on the experience of Sal Lavallo, one of the youngest people to have visited all 193 member states of the United Nations.Universal suffrage
The concept of universal franchise, also known as general suffrage or common suffrage, consists of the right to vote of all adult citizens, regardless of wealth, income, race, or ethinicity, subject only to minor exceptions. In its original 19th-century usage by political reformers, universal suffrage was understood to mean only universal manhood suffrage; the vote was extended to women later, during the women's suffrage movement.There are variations among countries in terms of specifics of the right to vote; the minimum age is usually between 18 and 25 years (see age of majority) and "the insane, certain classes of convicted criminals, and those punished for certain electoral offenses" sometimes lack the right to vote.In the United States, the term "suffrage" is often associated specifically with women's suffrage; a movement to extend the franchise to women began in the mid-nineteenth century and culminated in 1920, when the United States ratified the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing the right of women to vote.
In most countries, universal suffrage (the right to vote but not necessarily the right to be a candidate) followed about a generation after universal male suffrage. Notable exceptions in Europe were France, where women could not vote until 1944, Greece (1952), and Switzerland (1971).
In the first modern democracies, governments restricted the vote to those with property and wealth, which almost always meant a minority of the male population. In some jurisdictions, other restrictions existed, such as requiring voters to practice a given religion. In all modern democracies, the number of people who could vote has increased progressively with time. In the 19th century in Europe, Great Britain and North America, there were movements advocating "universal [male] suffrage".
See also: Afro-American religion