The MFA continued to deny recognition to the National Council of Muslims, noting that certain Islamic practices, such as polygamy, which conflict with Haitian law, could not be recognized by the state. Unlike Christians married in a church, Muslims married in a religious ceremony did not receive government recognition, and needed to go through a civil court to obtain such recognition. This was also required of Voudou practitioners married in religious ceremonies. The MFA maintained three separate offices to handle administrative issues for Catholics and non-Catholic Christians, Muslims, and Voudou practitioners. The government did not take action to advance or create draft legislation extending official recognition to Voudou or Islam, although both groups called on it to do so. There were, however, no reports that the lack of official recognition restricted the operations of any religious group. Many nondenominational Christian groups and Voudou practitioners operated informally and did not seek official recognition.
Organized missionary groups and missionaries affiliated with a wide range of religious groups operated privately funded hospitals, clinics, schools, and orphanages. Foreign missionaries often entered as tourists and submitted paperwork to the MFA similar to that required of domestic religious groups.
The authorities generally permitted prisoners and detainees to exercise their religious beliefs freely and have access to a Protestant minister, a Catholic priest, or a Voudou leader, when they were available. Prisoners reported that the government did not deny access to Muslim clerics if desired, but government sources stated that institutional capacity at times impacted their ability to provide the full range of religious services requested, particularly in facilities outside Port-au-Prince. The two exceptions where such a range of services was available were the National Penitentiary and the Petionville Women’s Prison, both located in Port-au-Prince. Volunteers provided religious services in some prisons.
Religious leaders were able to and, on occasion did, freely criticize the government.