The constitution prohibits religious discrimination and provides for freedom of conscience, thought, and religion, including the freedom to change religion or belief and to manifest and propagate one’s religion.
The government has no established requirements for recognition of religious groups. By law any group may register with the government, regardless of its purpose, as long as it has a constitution and a leadership committee. Most religious groups register, but there is no penalty for those that do not. The benefits of registration are administrative and accrue to any organization that registers, whether religious or secular.
Approximately 80 percent of all primary and secondary schools are owned and operated by churches. The Roman Catholic Church, the Lesotho Evangelical Church, the Anglican Church, and, to a lesser extent, the Methodist Church are the primary operators of religious schools, which are publically funded. Since the introduction of free primary education in 2000, the education ministry has built new non-denominational schools, reducing the proportion of religiously affiliated schools. The education ministry pays and certifies all teachers at government-funded schools, including religious schools, and requires a standard curriculum for both secular and religious schools. The government does not mandate religious education in schools, and the constitution exempts students at any educational institution from requirements to receive instruction or attend any ceremony or observance associated with a religion not their own. However, in practice, at any school offering religious education, which includes all religious schools and some secular schools, the subject is mandatory. All curricula, including for religious education classes, must be approved by the minister of education