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. The government continued to grant Christians and Muslims access to public facilities for special religious events.
The Catholic and Protestant communities conducted public outreach and evangelization campaigns in stadiums and other public spaces during the year. In support of the atmosphere of religious harmony, the Islamic Council encouraged the country’s Muslims to lead ethically sound lives and to be respectful of other religious communities in the country. According to Muslim, Catholic, and other Christian leaders, there were no reports of religiously motivated incidents or actions directed against their respective communities. Sources stated there were varying views on the practice and acceptance of religious syncretism.
The U.S. embassy continued to promote religious freedom and tolerance in engagements with leaders in government, the diplomatic community, and civil society groups. The Ambassador celebrated National Religious Freedom Day by hosting an interfaith dinner with six prominent religious leaders where the Ambassador and guests discussed religious freedom, the state of interfaith cooperation, and religious syncretism. The U.S. embassy supported multiple events with religious leaders and youth groups to discuss community engagement and countering violent extremism related to religion. Embassy officials met separately with Protestant, Catholic, and Muslim leaders to discuss the state of religious tolerance and cooperation.