The constitution prohibits discrimination based on creed and provides for the right of individuals to change, manifest, and propagate their religious beliefs. The government grants subsidies to six religious groups: Hindus, Roman Catholics, Muslims, Anglicans, Presbyterians, and Seventh-day Adventists, based on their relative numbers in the population. Other groups must register with the government to obtain tax-exempt status but receive no subsidies. Christians and Muslims continued to state they were underrepresented in the civil service and elsewhere in the government, including at the highest levels. The government continued to limit the number of foreign missionaries allowed to work in the country.
Tensions between Hindus and Muslims continued. On October 30, unknown individuals vandalized five Hindu temples and other places of worship in the east and the center of the island. There were no developments in the December 2016 case in which unknown individuals vandalized a Tamil temple in Port Louis. The authorities completed investigation in the 2015 case in which two Muslim men vandalized a Hindu temple, which was followed by five Hindu men vandalizing a mosque in the south of the island, and authorities sent the case to a court for prosecution. The Council of Religions, a local organization composed of representatives from 18 different faiths and denominations, hosted regular religious ceremonies and celebrations to foster mutual understanding and enhance interfaith collaboration among faith communities.
The embassy promoted religious tolerance and understanding through engagement with government officials. Embassy officials met with religious leaders, including the Council of Religions. The Charge d’Affaires hosted a dinner for Muslim civil society and religious leaders to highlight religious tolerance and emphasize ways to continue to foster interreligious tolerance.