In January the government established a National Observatory of Religious Facts (ONAFAR) to “monitor the implementation of regulations on cultural practices,” as previously proposed by officials from religious communities and the government. The ONAFAR monitored religious media content and the implementation of regulations on cultural practices, promoted tolerance and interreligious dialogue, and strengthened the capacities of religious groups. The ONAFAR had 10 members representing the Superior Council for Communication, the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, the Federation of Evangelical Churches and Missions, the Federation of Islamic Associations, and the (Catholic) Burkina-Niger Episcopal Conference.
The government gave all religious groups equal access to registration and routinely approved their applications.
The government did not fund religious schools or require them to pay taxes unless they conducted for-profit activities. Likewise, the government taxed religious groups only if they engaged in commercial activities, such as farming or dairy production. The government reviewed the curricula of most religious schools to ensure they offered the full standard academic curriculum; however, the majority of Quranic schools were not registered, and thus their curricula were not reviewed.
The government allocated 75 million CFA francs ($124,400) each to various Muslim, Catholic, and Protestant communities. According to the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, the government might provide an additional subsidy when the religious community or organization pursued a mission of general interest, such as education, health, or vocational training; when the religious community conducted an activity of national interest, such as promoting peace or social stability; or when the success or failure of an activity could have affected a significant part of the population, as in the case of religious pilgrimages. For example, in September the government inaugurated a new 1 billion CFA franc ($1.65 million) terminal for pilgrims of all faiths at the Ouagadougou airport. The government also provided funding to Catholic, Protestant, and Muslim (commonly referred to as “Franco-Arabic”) schools through subsidies for teacher salaries, which were typically less than those of public school teachers.
In the wake of the 2014 resignation of former President Blaise Compaore, representatives of these three religious communities were included in discussions with the military, political parties, and civil society organizations to create a charter for the country’s transitional government. Representatives of religious groups were included in the transitional government as members of a “college” formed to select the president of the transitional government.