The government generally approved applications for registration and religious groups administered their affairs without government interference.
The government provided direct financial and material assistance to religious groups, primarily to maintain or rehabilitate places of worship or to underwrite special events. All religious groups had access to these funds, and often competed to obtain them.
The government encouraged and assisted Muslim participation in the annual Hajj, providing imams with hundreds of free airplane tickets for the pilgrimage for distribution among citizens. The government provided similar assistance for an annual Roman Catholic pilgrimage to the Vatican, the Palestinian territories, and Israel.
The government allowed up to four hours of voluntary religious education per week in public elementary schools. Parents could choose either a Christian or Muslim curriculum. An estimated 700,000 students participated in religious education through the public elementary school system during the year.
Private schools also provided religious education. The education ministry provided partial funding to schools operated by religious groups that met national education standards. Established Christian schools with strong academic reputations received the largest share of this government funding. The majority of students attending Christian schools were Muslim. In addition to the national curriculum, Christian schools offered religious education to Christian students and moral education to non-Christians. Non-Christian students were not required to take Christian religious courses.
The government also funded a growing number of Islamic schools in which approximately 60,000 students are enrolled.