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 and other public functions usually began and ended with a Christian prayer. The government provided funds to religious schools, although not in the same amounts as public schools.
Muslims reported continued cyberbullying on social media platforms and harassing telephone calls to their places of worship by non-Muslims. As in past years, Muslims reiterated their feelings of being misunderstood by the general public and their 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 government officials to affirm the importance of religious freedom and to discuss how interfaith dialogue could promote religious freedom. Embassy officials met with officials from the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, the Baha’i 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 religious climate, and the importance of religious freedom for all individuals and groups.