The constitution prohibits religious discrimination and stipulates individuals are free to profess and practice their religion. Registration is required for religious groups to have legal status. Muslim leaders reported some publicly-funded Christian mission schools forced female Muslim students to remove their hijab and forced Muslim students to participate in Christian worship services, despite a Ministry of Education directive prohibiting these practices. There were reports some publicly-funded Muslim mission schools required female Christian students to wear the hijab. There were reports that administrators at some hospitals did not allow Muslim staff members to wear the hijab in spite of Ministry of Health guidance barring this practice.
Muslim and Christian leaders reported cordial relations among the country’s main religious communities, facilitated through regular dialogue between their respective governing bodies and the National Peace Council. For example, in October the Presbyterian Interfaith Research and Resource Center sponsored a large interfaith gathering to discuss cooperation in promoting peaceful coexistence. In August at an Ahmadiyya gathering in the United Kingdom, the national chief imam praised Ahmadi Muslim contributions to the country and stressed the importance of harmony among Muslim communities.
The U.S. embassy engaged with government officials to emphasize the importance of mutual understanding, religious tolerance, and respect for all religious groups. The embassy discussed religious freedom and tolerance with religious leaders and community organizations and sponsored several events to promote interfaith dialogue and tolerance. In August the Ambassador presented the embassy’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. award to National Chief Imam Sheikh Dr. Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu in recognition of his commitment to promoting peace, mutual understanding, and harmony within Muslim communities and with other religious groups.