The constitution and other laws and policies generally protect religious freedom. The constitution and law prohibit discrimination based on religion, and there is strict separation of church and state. The penal code prohibits mistreatment of ethnic, religious, and other minority groups. The National Institute of Human Rights, an autonomous branch of Congress, and the Ministry of Education and Culture’s (MEC) Honorary Commission against Racism, Xenophobia, and All Forms of Discrimination enforce government compliance with the laws. Representatives from several religious and civil society groups are active participants in the Honorary Commission.
Religious groups are entitled to property tax exemptions for their houses of worship. To receive such exemptions, a religious group must register with the MEC as a non-profit entity and present draft organizing statutes. The ministry examines the legal entity and grants authorization for the religious group to request a property tax exemption from the taxing authority, usually the municipal government.
Muslims may obtain an optional identity card that identifies their religious affiliation to employers and allows them to leave work early on Fridays.
Religious instruction in public schools is prohibited. Public schools allow students belonging to minority religious groups to miss school for religious holidays without penalty.
The government has observer status on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, formerly the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research.