The constitution stipulates the state is independent of all religion and provides for “freedom of thought, spirituality, religion and cult, expressed individually or collectively, in public and in private.” The constitution and other laws give educational institutions the right to teach religion and indigenous spiritual belief classes. Some religious organizations, led predominantly by evangelical Christian denominations, expressed concern that a law proscribing religious registration requirements could threaten their ability to operate independently and could favor particular religious groups. The petition they submitted to the constitutional court demanding a ruling on the constitutionality of the law remained pending. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) suspended implementation of the registration legislation until the court rules.
While there were no acts of vandalism reported during the year, Jewish leaders reported police still had not investigated acts of vandalism against Jewish religious sites that occurred in 2014. Muslim leaders reported incidents of discrimination toward their followers, including being spat upon and anti-Muslim graffiti near their mosque.
U.S. embassy representatives met regularly with leaders of religious groups to discuss their relations with the government and religious freedom. The Charge d’Affaires hosted an interfaith roundtable in October to hear the concerns of religious leaders and discuss possible steps for mediation.