The constitution provides for religious freedom, including the freedom to change religions, proselytize, and establish religious schools. Laws “reasonably required” to achieve certain listed public goals may restrict these rights. In April parliament passed a motion to explore the possibility of amending the preamble of the constitution to declare Solomon Islands a Christian country. As of the end of the year, the Constitutional Review Committee had not finalized a draft of the proposed changes.
In September the acting prime minister opened a conference for church leaders from the two main associations of Christian groups with the aim of defining the role of churches in development and nation building.
The U.S. government, through the Embassy in Papua New Guinea and its consular agency office in Solomon Islands, discussed religious tolerance with the government during the year, including the proposed change to the preamble of the constitution. Officials discussed with religious minorities whether groups believed they could freely exercise their religious beliefs. Representatives from the embassy also met with religious leaders of larger groups.