The preamble to the constitution refers to traditional Christian values, but there is no state religion. The constitution provides for freedom of religion and prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion or traditional belief. On penalty of a fine, the law requires religious groups to register, but the government does not enforce this requirement.
In January police arrested men on charges of arson for allegedly burning a church in Luganville. In rural areas, chiefs and traditional leaders exercised influence over communal decision making, including regarding the establishment of new religious groups.
There is no permanent U.S. diplomatic presence in the country. Representatives of the U.S. Embassy in Papua New Guinea met with members of various Christian denominations among other religious leaders, and periodically discussed religious freedom with the government and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).