The constitution and other laws and policies generally protect religious freedom. According to the constitution, the state respects and provides for “religious liberty and spiritual beliefs, in accordance with its worldview.” The constitution states the government is independent of all religious groups and provides guarantees for religious freedom and spiritual rights. The constitution and other laws give educational institutions the right to teach religion and indigenous spiritual belief classes with the aim of encouraging mutual respect among religious communities. While religion classes are optional, curriculum materials must promote religious tolerance. The constitution prohibits religious discrimination in access to educational institutions, and protects the right of access to public sport and recreational activities without regard to religion.
A law passed in March regulates the registration process for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that includes all religious groups. The law is intended to streamline and broaden the registration process and prohibits taxation of religious organizations. The government has not yet adopted implementing regulations.
NGOs, including religious and missionary groups seeking legal recognition, must register with the governor’s office of their respective state. Religious and missionary groups seeking legal recognition must also register with the MFA's Office of Religion and Nongovernmental Organizations. The current MFA registry includes 428 registered religious groups, and 80 religious groups are currently in the process of submitting the necessary legal paperwork to be registered. Religious groups must submit an annual report to the Religion and Nongovernmental Organization Office to remain on the registry. Religious groups receiving foreign sources of funding may not register, but may enter into a framework agreement with the government for three years that affords them the same judicial standing as NGOs, including tax-exempt status. Registered religious groups receive tax, customs, and other legal benefits. The government may not deny legal recognition to any organization based on its articles of faith; there is no fee for registration but the complex procedure typically requires legal assistance.
All teachers, including those in private religious schools, must receive their training in government-run academies.