The constitution requires the separation of state and religion, establishes freedom of religious choice and practice, prohibits religious discrimination, and stipulates the government shall not interfere in the practice of any religion. There were frequent Muslim protests against what the protestors characterized as continued government interference in religious affairs. The government used the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP) and other measures to restrict organized opposition and anti-government protests, including through the detention and prosecution of Muslims engaged in protests. In June security forces clashed with demonstrators at the Anwar Mosque in Addis Ababa and arrested 14 protestors (who were later released on bail), some of whom were injured. On February 3, the Federal High Court reopened public, press, and diplomatic community access to the trial proceedings of 19 Muslims identified with July 2012 protests and charged under the ATP. The government had closed the trial because of what it said were security concerns. The government put on trial other groups of Muslims, reportedly due to their support of those involved in 2012 protests. Some religious groups reported discrimination in government land allocation and registration policies.
Unlike in previous years, there were no reports of religiously motivated societal violence. There were lingering tensions between Christians and Muslims. Some Ethiopian Orthodox and Protestant groups engaged in mutual recriminations over conversions and charges of heresy.
The U.S. Ambassador and embassy officials continued to discuss religious freedom with the government, and engage with religious groups and faith-based nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to promote religious freedom. Embassy officials met with members of the Muslim community in response to allegations of government interference in religious affairs. In April an interagency team, led by the Department of State’s Senior Advisor for Faith Based Community Initiatives, traveled to Ethiopia to engage with the government and faith-based communities on religious freedom issues.