The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom.
By law, the country is secular. According to the constitution, there is no official religion, and all religions are equal; however, the Sunni Muslim, Bektashi, Orthodox, and Catholic communities enjoy a greater degree of recognition and social status based on their historic presence in the country.
The Office of the Commissioner for Protection from Discrimination receives and processes discrimination complaints, including those concerning religious practice. The State Committee on Cults, under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth, and Sports, regulates relations between the government and religious groups, protects freedom of religion, and promotes interfaith cooperation and understanding. The committee maintains records and statistics on foreign religious groups that solicit its assistance. It also assists foreign employees of religious groups in obtaining residence permits.
The government does not require registration or licensing of religious groups. Any group may acquire official status by registering with the Tirana District Court as a nonprofit association, regardless of whether the group has a cultural, recreational, religious, or humanitarian character. Registration grants religious groups the right to hold bank accounts, to own property, and to receive some degree of tax-exempt status.
The constitution calls for separate bilateral agreements to regulate relations between the government and religious groups. The government has such agreements with the Roman Catholic Church (since 2002); with the Muslim, Orthodox, and Bektashi communities (since 2008); and with the Evangelical Brotherhood of Albania, a Protestant umbrella organization (since 2010). Among other advantages, the agreements confer official recognition, prioritized property restitution, and tax exemptions.
According to the Ministry of Education, public schools are secular and the law prohibits ideological and religious indoctrination. Religion is not taught in public schools. According to official figures, religious groups, organizations, and foundations have 135 affiliated associations and foundations managing 102 educational institutions. By law, the Ministry of Education must license these schools and curricula must comply with national education standards. Catholic and Muslim groups operate numerous state-licensed schools. The Orthodox Church operates religious schools and a university.
The government observes the following religious holidays as national holidays: Nevruz (celebrated by the Bektashi community), Easter (Catholic and Orthodox), Major Bajram (Eid al-Fitr), Minor Bajram (Eid al-Adha), and Christmas.