The constitution establishes a secular state and provides for freedom of conscience, religion, and worship. It provides for equality of rights and obligations irrespective of religious belief or practice and for freedom of religious groups to teach their faith and to organize themselves and their worship activities. According to the constitution, these rights are to be interpreted in harmony with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and may be restricted only in cases envisaged in the constitution or suspended during a state of emergency or siege declared according to the terms of the constitution and law.
Religious groups must register with the government. If a religious group does not register, the group is subject to fines, and possible expulsion if it is a foreign religious group. To register, a group must send a letter requesting authorization to the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. Once the group obtains authorization, it must submit the following documents to a notary public: the ministry’s approval letter; the group’s statutes; the minutes or report from a meeting attended by representatives of the group and signed by its president and secretary; copies of the national identity cards of those who attended this meeting; a list of board members; and a certificate from the registrar’s office attesting that no existing organization has the same name. After a payment of 320,000 dobras ($16) for notarial fees, an announcement is published in the government gazette, and the group may then operate fully as a registered group. Once registered, a religious group does not need to register again. Registered religious groups receive the same benefits, such as tax exemptions, as registered nonprofit organizations.
The country is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.