The constitution and other laws and policies generally protect religious freedom. The constitution provides for “freedom to practice any religion and to manifest such practice.”
The constitution establishes qadi courts, with Muslim judges trained in the Islamic legal tradition, in specific areas that the chief justice determines. The qadi courts sit in each of the country’s seven regions and apply traditional Islamic law. Their jurisdiction applies only to marriage, divorce, custody over children, and inheritance questions for Muslims. Islamic law also applies to interfaith couples where there is one Muslim spouse. Non-qadi district tribunals, which deal with issues under customary and traditional law, apply Islamic law, if relevant, when presiding over cases involving Muslims. A five-member qadi panel has purview over appeals regarding decisions of the qadi courts and non-qadi district tribunals relating to Islamic law.
The Supreme Islamic Council is an independent body that advises the government on religious issues. Although not represented on the council, the government provides the council with substantial funding. The country’s president serves as the minister of religious affairs and maintains a formal relationship with the council.
The government does not require religious groups to register. Faith-based nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) must meet the same registration and licensing requirements as other NGOs.
The law requires all schools (except international schools) to provide religious education that “cater [to the] pupil’s religions.” Both public and private schools throughout the country provide biblical and quranic studies with minimal government interference, although the government provides religious studies teachers to private schools if the schools are unable to do so.