There were no reports of abuses of religious freedom.
During the year, 49 religious groups and eight religious organizations registered with the Directorate of Religious Affairs of the Ministry of Justice, for a total of 798 religious groups and 190 religious organizations registered.
The government did not officially favor any particular religion; however, Muslim leaders and journalists claimed the government discriminated against the Muslim community. They cited the example of the national “Family Day” holiday observed on December 25. Some Muslims asserted that Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Udha (Eid al-Adha) should also be national holidays, given that Christmas was observed under the rubric of family unification. Although not required by law, the Labor Ministry commonly granted a day of administrative leave for Muslims to celebrate those holidays. The Labor Ministry also commonly granted administrative leave for other religious holidays, including Christmas Eve and Good Friday, as well as for nonreligious holidays such as New Year’s Eve.
Members of all major religious groups were represented in the National Assembly and held senior cabinet and media jobs. Muslims stated that they held proportionally fewer of those positions than did non-Muslims.
The Catholic Church continued discussions with the government regarding land seized from religious groups after independence. While provincial governments were responsible for establishing a process for property restitution, the Directorate of Religious Affairs had a mandate to address the general issue.
The Roman Catholic archbishop stated that the government returned previously nationalized churches in Inhambane, Maputo, Niassa, and Zambezia provinces. The government retained control of hospitals and schools previously run by the church in these provinces, but the church did not seek the return of those properties because it did not have the resources to run them. The archbishop stated that the church was satisfied with this outcome.
In August the education minister announced that Muslim girls could wear the headscarf in public schools for the duration of Ramadan. Following this announcement, Muslims in Nampula successfully lobbied the government to lift the year-round ban on wearing the headscarf. Members of the Muslim community sought permission to wear the headscarf in photos for identity documents; however, the legality of wearing the headscarf in photos for identity documents remained uncertain, as did the wearing of the veil or burqa in public schools.