The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom.
The constitution permits individuals to choose or change their religions. The constitution categorizes the right to religious freedom as a “personal right and freedom” and states that any violation of these personal freedoms can be brought before a court of justice. The constitution provides that no individual shall be discriminated against on the grounds of religion. The government does not favor a particular religion, and no tenets of a particular religion are codified in criminal or civil laws.
The government does not establish requirements for recognition of religious groups, nor are religious groups required to register.
Religious instruction in public schools is permitted but not required. Schools offer religious instruction in a variety of faiths. Parents are not permitted to home school their children for religious or other reasons; however, they may enroll their children in private schools, many of which have a religious affiliation. Students in public schools are allowed to practice all elements of their religion, including wearing religious symbols.
The government provides limited subsidies to a number of public elementary and secondary schools established and managed by various religious organizations. While the teachers are civil servants and the schools are public, religious groups provide all funding, with the exception of teachers’ salaries and a small maintenance stipend for the schools. All ethnicities are accepted and enrolled at government-subsidized private schools run by religious organizations.
The armed forces maintain a chaplaincy with Hindu, Muslim, Protestant, and Catholic clergy available to military personnel of all religious groups. While the chaplaincy provides interfaith services, personnel are also welcome to attend outside religious services.
The government observes the following religious holidays as national holidays: Holi Phagwa, Diwali, Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Christmas.