The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom. Discrimination on the basis of religious conviction is prohibited.
A 1992 law covering nonprofit organizations, including religious groups, is the basis for the recognition and registration of religious bodies. The government requires religious groups to register with the Ministry of the Interior. Each association of a religious nature must provide the denomination or affiliation of the institution, a copy of its bylaws, the address of its headquarters in the country, an address abroad if the local institution is a subsidiary, and information about the association’s governing body and legal representative. It usually takes between two and four weeks for the ministry to process a registration request. A representative of a religious institution can be jailed for six months to five years for failing to comply with these instructions.
While no law accords tax exemptions to religious groups, the Ministry of Finance often negotiates waivers of taxes on religious articles or goods imported by religious institutions that were destined for social development purposes. There was no indication of religious bias in the awarding of such exemptions.
The government observes the following religious holidays as national holidays: Ascension Day, the Feast of the Assumption, Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha (Eid al-Qurban), All Saints’ Day, and Christmas.