The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom. The law requires a prison term of one year for a blasphemous libel conviction, but exempts religious expression made in “good faith and decent language” from blasphemous libel convictions. The government does not enforce the law, and there were no prosecutions for blasphemous libel during the year. The law protects the right of individuals to choose and change their religion and to interpret religious beliefs for themselves. Members of all religious groups worship freely. There is no state religion.
While the government recognizes religious groups of all faiths, they must register to receive formal recognition. Religious groups seeking to establish formal operations must first obtain permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs. The government limits the number of representatives of foreign religious groups based on historical trends and on the discretion of the president. Access to Amerindian areas requires the permission of the local village council.
There are both public and private religiously affiliated schools. Parents are free to send their children to the school of their choice.
The Guyana Defense Force (GDF) coordinates with civilian religious groups to provide military personnel with access to religious services. Leaders of all major religious groups conduct prayer services and counseling, although generally only Christian sermons are given on GDF bases.
Many national-level events, such as national day celebrations, included religious representatives from Christian, Hindu, and Muslim groups.
The government observes the following religious holidays as national holidays: Good Friday, Easter, Easter Monday, Christmas, Phagwah, Diwali, Youman Nabi (Maulid al-Nabi), and Eid Al-Adha.