The constitution provides for the separation of religion and state, and stipulates all persons are entitled to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, except as required by law to protect public safety or order or the rights of others. It also provides for equal protection under the law. A nascent campaign to have the legislature declare the country a “Christian nation” engendered nationwide discussion. The government discouraged traditional and religious burial rites due to the epidemic of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the first half of the year.
There were sporadic, localized quarrels between religious and traditional groups, but because ethnicity and religion were often closely linked, it was difficult to categorize incidents as solely based on religious identity. In June many local business owners under the banner Margibi Muslim Council closed their shops in Kakata, Margibi County, to protest what they saw as the Christianizing of the country. On September 24, a group of youth verbally provoked and threw stones at a Muslim group praying in Saclepea, Nimba.
The U.S. Ambassador and embassy representatives encouraged government officials to continue to promote religious freedom and tolerance. The embassy organized outreach to young religious leaders, including a discussion on religious tolerance.