There were no reports of abuses of religious freedom.
The National Council of Muslims in Haiti applied for legal recognition of Islam as a religion, but continued to await approval at the end of the year. According to a Muslim contact, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship has repeatedly rejected the National Council of Muslim’s application for recognition of Islam as a religion for several years and has not provided a rationale for its action. Each time the government rejects their appeal, it suggests the National Council of Muslims apply for recognition as something shy of a formal religion, such as a philosophy or a civil group. Currently, Muslims married in a religious ceremony do not receive the same government recognition accorded to Christian marriages and can only obtain government recognition through a civil court. According to the Bureau of Worship, Muslims already have some official recognition from the government. The Bureau maintains three separate offices to handle administrative issues for Catholics, non-Catholic Christians and Muslims, and Vodou.
Most faith-based humanitarian groups arriving after the January 2010 earthquake remained undocumented, since government offices were closed for months following the earthquake. Although legally required to register, many nondenominational Christian groups and Vodou practitioners operated informally and did not seek official recognition. There were no reports of this requirement restricting the operation of a religious group.
Organized missionary groups and missionaries affiliated with a wide range of religious groups operated privately funded hospitals, orphanages, schools, and clinics. Foreign missionaries often entered as tourists and submitted paperwork similar to that submitted by domestic religious groups to the Bureau of Worship. Delays often occurred in the issuing of residence permits, but it appears that bureaucratic problems were the primary cause.
Prisoners and detainees were generally permitted religious observance and could request to see a Protestant minister, a Catholic priest, a Vodou leader, or a Muslim cleric. During the first few months of the year, however, the government maintained a ban on personal and religious visitors in prisons in an attempt to quell the spread of cholera. The government lifted these restrictions after the infection rate stabilized. While prisoners and detainees had the legal right to religious observance, the government did not regularly provide for religious services at major incarceration centers such as the National Penitentiary. Some prisons had regular religious services provided by volunteers.