The constitution provides for freedom of religion and prohibits the government from taking any action to compel, prohibit, or hinder the exercise of religion. It stipulates there will be no state religion but allows the state to fund “private or parochial” schools on a fair and equitable basis and for nonreligious purposes.
The law requires religious groups to obtain charters as nonprofit organizations from the Office of the Attorney General. As nonprofit organizations, religious groups and mission agencies are exempt from paying taxes. To obtain a charter of incorporation, an applicant submits a written petition to the registrar requesting a charter of incorporation along with a filing fee of $250. The Office of the Attorney General reviews the application for statutory compliance and forwards the completed application to the Office of the President for final authorization. The attorney general’s office reports it does not deny applications that conform to the corporate registry regulations. Foreign missionaries are required under law to obtain missionary permits at the Bureau of Immigration and Labor.
The law prohibits religious instruction in public schools. Representatives of any religious group, however, may request government financial support for nonpublic religious schools.
The country is not a party to International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Christian prayers from various denominations were offered at government-sponsored events.
The government provided funding to all 10 of the nonpublic schools run by religious groups in the country.