The constitution prohibits discrimination based on religion and provides for freedom of conscience, religion, belief, and thought. An investigation by the Malawi Human Rights Commission regarding a 2016 case of religious discrimination against a Rastafarian student for wearing dreadlocks remained unresolved at the end of the year. Muslim leaders continued to express concern about the role of Christian religious education in state-funded schools and the impact of staggered school shifts on the ability of students to attend religious education after school hours.
Persons of all faiths continued to participate freely in business and civil society organizations together. Religious organizations and leaders regularly expressed their opinions on political issues, which received coverage in the media. In November the Public Affairs Committee, an umbrella organization for 25 Christian churches and 20 parachurch organizations, petitioned the speaker of parliament to accelerate action on long-awaited electoral reform bills.
U.S. embassy officials regularly sought input from leaders of religious groups on issues of religious freedom, such as the removal of a hijab for government identification photographs. The embassy hosted several events during the year to encourage intercommunal dialogue and to discuss community issues.