The constitution provides for freedom of conscience (including religion), expression, assembly, and association. These rights may be limited by law “which is reasonably required” in the interests of public defense, safety, order, morality, or health, or to protect the rights of others.
By law, any religious group with adult members representing no less than 2 percent of the total population (according to the most recent census) must register with the government. The religious organization submits a request to the Ministry of Women, Youth, and Social Affairs, signed by the head of the group and supported by five other members of the organization. Also required in the request is information regarding proof of the number of adherents and the religious denomination and name under which the group wishes to be registered. Although the law requires a religious organization representing 2 percent of the population to register, there are no legal consequences for not registering.
There is no mandated religious education in public schools. Public schools in the country allow a variety of religious groups, including Catholics, Methodists, Seventh-day Adventists, and Mormons, to provide religious education in schools. Students who opt out of religious education must participate in a supervised study period.
The country is not a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Most governmental meetings and events began and ended with an ordained minister or other church official delivering a Christian prayer.
In July the president hosted a national dialogue, including religious organizations in addition to the two largest groups, the Catholic and Kiribati Uniting Churches, to promote cooperation among the different churches and the protection of religious freedom in the country.
The government continued to administer a small grants program for development projects administered by nongovernmental organizations and registered religious organizations.