The new constitution, adopted by referendum on October 25 and promulgated on November 6, prohibits religious discrimination, provides for freedom of religion, bans the use of religion for political ends, and stipulates impositions on freedom of conscience stemming from “religious fanaticism” shall be punishable by law. Police disrupted three Catholic Church masses on the day of the constitutional referendum. In May the government banned people from wearing full-face Islamic veils in public places.
Authorities arrested several youths for attempted vandalism against a mosque in the Brazzaville neighborhood of Poto Poto and for making threats against Islam. Following renewed violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) and the internal migration of existing CAR refugees from camps in the north of the country to the two largest urban centers, some people stated the potential for religious tensions continued to be a concern. Catholic and Muslim leaders, however, said they had not received any reports of religiously motivated incidents or actions directed against the Islamic community.
The U.S. embassy promoted religious freedom and tolerance in interactions with leaders in the government. Embassy officers also spoke with civil society leaders and several religious groups.