The constitution provides protections for religious freedom with “reasonable restrictions” to ensure public order and the rights of other individuals. The constitution provides for the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and belief and to the free exercise of religion. Governmental functions usually began and ended with a Christian prayer.
Muslims reported continued cyberbullying on social media platforms such as Facebook and harassing telephone calls to their places of worship by non-Muslim Marshallese. As in past years, Muslims reiterated their feelings of being feared by the general public and sense of mistrust on a daily basis. Female Muslims also described being shamed for wearing the hijab. Protestant parishioners reported feeling pressured to give substantial amounts of income to their church or face severe penalties from church leaders, including excommunication, if donation quotas were not met.
U.S. embassy officials met with the Foreign Minister to affirm the importance of religious freedom and to discuss how interfaith dialogue could promote religious freedom. Embassy officials also met with officials from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Assemblies of God, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Church of Jesus Christ), the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the United Church of Christ, and nondenominational English-speaking churches to discuss the climate of religious tolerance.