The constitution stipulates everyone is free to choose his or her faith. It makes the state responsible for “protecting the religious…interests of the People” and establishes Roman Catholicism as the state religion with full protection from the state. It stipulates other religions may practice their faith within the bounds of morality and public order. The law prescribes criminal penalties for public incitement to hatred towards a religious group, religious discrimination, or “debasement” of any religion. Municipalities provided funding to Catholic and Protestant groups and financed social integration projects organized by smaller religious groups. In August a revised decree granted the Office of Education the right to organize and finance Islamic education as an elective in public primary schools. The government again granted the Muslim community a residency permit for one imam and a short-term residency permit for an additional imam during Ramadan. In late 2016, Vaduz city authorities rejected a proposal to establish a Muslim cemetery. On January 25, government officials and the Liechtenstein Friends of Yad Vashem again held a public service to remember the victims of the Holocaust, at which the minister for infrastructure, the environment, and sports spoke on the importance of respecting human rights and rejecting anti-Semitism.
The state-subsidized, non-profit Liechtenstein Institute’s yearly monitoring report on extremism stated right-wing extremist groups were less active in 2016, the most recent year for which data were available, than in previous years. There were no mosques in the country; there was one Islamic prayer room run by the Turkish Association. The Liechtenstein Institute stated Muslims faced difficulties in renting prayer facilities due to societal wariness about Islam. Religious groups in every municipality continued to open their chapels to other denominations and faiths, such as Orthodox and Islamic groups, to worship upon request. According to the institute’s report, in July 2016, unknown persons sprayed racist comments and a swastika on the facade of a house used for asylees.
The U.S. Embassy in Bern, Switzerland, which is responsible for diplomatic relations with the country, continued to encourage the promotion of religious freedom in discussions with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, focusing primarily on access to religious education. Embassy staff discussed religious freedom issues, such as the extent of societal discrimination, with the Liechtenstein Friends of Yad Vashem and the Liechtenstein Institute.