The constitution provides for freedom of individuals to manifest their religion or belief and prohibits religious discrimination. In accordance with the constitution, the government continued to offer the Catholic Church privileges not available to other religious groups. The government permitted ritual slaughter to meet Islamic and Jewish religious dietary requirements under veterinary supervision at the country’s slaughterhouse. Some Muslims expressed concerns that individuals wearing head coverings for religious reasons had to remove them in photographs for official documents. The government did not resume meetings with the Jewish and Muslim communities to discuss the possible construction of a cemetery where they could conduct burials in accordance with their religious beliefs and customs. In February the Council of Europe’s European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) recommended the government establish a body to combat various forms of intolerance, including anti-Semitism, and enact legislative reforms pertaining to discrimination, including religious discrimination. In July a study by the government also recommended enactment of a nondiscrimination law, which would include religious discrimination. By year’s end, parliament had not passed legislation pursuant to the ECRI or government recommendations. Foreign religious workers for religious groups other than the Catholic Church could not obtain religious work permits but could enter the country under a different status and perform religious work unhindered.
The Muslim community used two prayer rooms, but there was no mosque in the country. The Catholic Church of Santa Maria del Fener in Andorra la Vella continued to lend its sanctuary twice a month to the Anglican community so that visiting Anglican clergy could conduct services for the English-speaking community.
During periodic visits, the U.S. Ambassador, resident in Spain, the Consul General, and other officials from the U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona continued to raise with senior government officials and civil society leaders issues such as the lack of official status for faiths other than Catholicism and the lack of cemeteries for the Jewish and Muslim communities.