The constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion and provides for freedom of belief. The law, however, requires the indoctrination of Christian values at the community level, including in education. In June the National Assembly approved a new family law that invested in Family Committees, or community-level action groups, the responsibility for promoting “Christian values” in education and municipal activities. There were reports the government provided or withheld benefits from individual churches based on the political affiliation of the church’s clergy. Church leaders stated the government withheld or delayed import clearance for donations in retaliation for anti-government commentary by the importing religious groups. The government implemented obligatory public school curriculums on Christian values and required students to participate in Christian religious events. Religious leaders reported the government invoked religion to support political objectives.
Evangelical leaders stated there were reports of Roman Catholic priests in remote areas using what they described as offensive language against their communities.
U.S. embassy officers emphasized in meetings with leaders of the governing party, including with leaders in the National Assembly, that religious freedom is a universal human right. Embassy officers raised with government officials reports of favoritism towards Catholic groups over evangelical denominations, and also complaints about the government's appropriation of religious symbolism and language in its laws and policies. Embassy representatives met regularly with religious leaders to discuss religious freedom.