The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom.
The constitution grants all citizens and foreigners the right to practice publicly and freely the religion of their choice and prohibits discrimination based on religion.
The law requires religious groups to register with the Ministry of Interior. A separate presidential decree requires all nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including churches and other religious groups, to register with the government. To register with the interior ministry, a religious group must possess a charter, have nonprofit status, include in its application all names used by the group to ensure that names of previously registered groups are not used without their permission, and provide signatures of at least 15 members, typically leaders of the organization. All nonprofit organizations, including more than 2,200 registered religious groups, must report on the expenditure of any government funding received.
Under the law, public schools are prohibited from providing religious instruction. Private schools may provide religious instruction. The government partially funds some private schools.
The government observes the following religious holidays as national holidays: Carnival (the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday), Holy Thursday, Good Friday, All Souls’ Day, and Christmas.