The constitution states that the country is secular, prohibits religious discrimination, provides for freedom of religion, bans the use of religion for political ends, and stipulates impositions on freedom of conscience stemming from “religious fanaticism” shall be punishable by law. A government decree bans individuals from wearing full-face Islamic veils in public.
There were reports of increased societal tensions stemming from the rapid growth of the Muslim community in the country. According to Catholic, Muslim, and Christian leaders, however, there were no reports of religiously motivated incidents or actions directed against their respective communities.
The U.S. embassy continued to promote religious freedom and tolerance in engagements with leaders in government, the diplomatic community, and civil society groups. During the year, two religious leaders took part in a U.S. government-funded program that supported community engagement, countering violent extremism, and women’s empowerment. Embassy officials met separately with Protestant, Catholic, and Muslim leaders to discuss the state of religious tolerance and cooperation.