The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom and, in practice, the government generally respected religious freedom. Although the government did not demonstrate a trend toward either improvement or deterioration in respect for and protection of the right to religious freedom, some citizens believe the new Patriotic Front (PF) government has shown favoritism to the Roman Catholic Church in its pronouncements and actions. This stands in sharp contrast to a pronounced and public bias against the Catholic Church by the former government that was defeated in September.
There were several reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.
The U.S. government’s primary objective in the country is to strengthen democratic institutions and foster conditions for economic growth. The U.S. government discussed religious freedom with religious leaders of all the major religions present in the country, the diplomatic community, and government officials in order to promote peaceful coexistence, human rights, democracy, and good governance, and to strengthen efforts to address HIV/AIDS.