The constitution provides for freedom of religion and both the constitution and the penal code prohibit discrimination based on religion. Any violation can be brought before a court of justice. Religious groups are not legally required to register but those that do may receive financial support from the government. The government provided limited subsidies to a number of elementary and secondary schools established and managed by various religious groups. The Ministry of Education reiterated government policy, which prohibits the practice or teaching of religion in public schools.
The Inter-Religious Council (IRIS), an initiative by some of the country’s religious groups, met monthly to discuss planned interfaith activities and positions on government policies. The government consulted the IRIS on multiple occasions during the year on the social impact of planned austerity measures. The IRIS chairman said the council expressed support for freedom of religious practices and encouraged mutual respect among religious groups.
U.S. embassy officials met with government officials to hear their assessment of relations between different faith groups. U.S. embassy officials interacted with the Christian, Hindu, and Muslim communities, and exchanged information about religious freedom. The embassy hosted an interfaith luncheon on religious freedom in which participants discussed how the topic was perceived by the different groups, the relations between religious groups in the country, and the relationship religious groups have with the government.