The constitution specifies the state is secular and protects the rights of all citizens to exercise their religious beliefs, consistent with the nation’s laws. Religious groups other than Roman Catholics, Protestants, and Muslims must register with the government. The government did not pass draft legislation pending since 2018 that detailed regulations regarding religious groups and did not authorize new religious groups; approximately 900 registration applications from religious groups remained pending at year’s end, the same as in previous years, and the government continued not to accept new applications. According to the Directorate of Religious Affairs (DRA) in the Ministry of Territorial Affairs (MTA), however, the government did not prevent these groups from opening new religious institutions and carrying out their activities informally.
Members of different religious groups attended each other’s ceremonies, and interfaith marriage remained common.
U.S. embassy officials discussed religious tolerance with government officials in meetings conducted virtually and met with religious leaders throughout the year to discuss their efforts to reduce tensions in communities and support peace and social cohesion, specifically regarding countering violent extremism related to religion. The embassy continued to promote interreligious dialogue through grants. Additionally, the embassy supported a workshop for English teachers in Islamic schools on introducing religious tolerance into lesson plans.