The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom.
The constitution stipulates only laypersons may seek election to congress.
By law only the legislature has the authority to confer the status of a legally recognized church. The legislature recognizes only the Roman Catholic Church and the Evangelical Confederation of Honduras as legally recognized churches. The constitution authorizes the executive branch to grant juridical personality to associations, including religious associations, which provides for tax exemptions and customs duty waivers. The government does not require religious groups to register.
A 2010 law recognizing the Evangelical Confederation of Honduras as a church remains in effect, despite a February Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) decision finding it unconstitutional. This is because by year’s end the decision had not yet appeared in the official register. The CSJ ruled on a challenge to the law brought by an evangelical church not part of the confederation.
The government classifies government-recognized religious groups other than the Catholic Church and the Evangelical Confederation as religious associations without the rights and privileges given to churches, such as tax exemption for clergy salaries and state recognition of religious marriages. Associations seeking juridical personality must submit an application to the Secretariat of State of Interior and Population, describing their internal organization, bylaws, and goals. The secretariat refers the applications of evangelical churches to a group from the Evangelical Confederation of Honduras for review. This group may suggest but not require changes. The office of the solicitor general must review all applications from religious groups and render a constitutional opinion. Applications also require presidential signature.
The government requires foreign missionaries to obtain entry and residence permits. A local institution or individual must sponsor a missionary’s application for residency, which is submitted to the Secretariat of State of Interior and Population.
The law prohibits the immigration of foreign missionaries who practice religions claiming to use witchcraft or satanic rituals, and allows deportation of foreigners who practice witchcraft or “religious fraud.”
The government observes the following religious holidays as national holidays: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Christmas.