The constitution provides for freedom of religion for all and prohibits religious organizations from exercising any political authority or receiving privileges from the state. The government granted protective status to some religious adherents claiming persecution in their native countries, including members of the Muslim Rohingya community from Burma and Falun Gong practitioners from China.
The Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision awarding damages to a Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU, formerly the Unification Church) member from family members who had restrained him for more than 12 years in an effort to persuade him to change his religion. Muslim organizations and mosques reportedly received harassing phone calls after the killing of Japanese citizens by Da’esh (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) in January.
U.S. embassy and consulate representatives, including the Ambassador, engaged with faith-based groups and religious leaders in an effort to monitor the status of religious freedom and to promote tolerance and acceptance. Embassy representatives spoke with a variety of religious minorities reporting concerns, including the FFWPU and Falun Gong practitioners.