The constitution stipulates the state is secular, prohibits religious discrimination, and provides for the right of individuals to choose and profess their religion. The Secretariat of Religious Affairs (SRA) controlled religious messaging by issuing weekly themes for inclusion in Friday sermons at mosques and Sunday sermons in churches. Although the SRA did not control sermons at every mosque and church, its inspectors were present in every region and responsible for ensuring that mosque and church sermons were consistent with SRA directives. There were unconfirmed reports that some imams supporting the opposition had been replaced.
On October 2, a young Muslim man was killed by his family after he converted to Christianity. There were two separate reports of religious groups’ attempting to impede construction of other religious groups’ buildings. One Muslim group tried to stop another Muslim group from building a new mosque, resulting in five deaths during violent clashes in November. In another case, a Muslim community refused to allow the Kalima Catholic Mission to build a church despite government authorization to do so.
The embassy hosted several iftars with Muslim and other religious leaders throughout the country, conveying each time the importance of religious freedom and harmony.