International Religious Freedom Report for 2015
The constitution guarantees every citizen “the right to freely profess and practice religion subject to public order, morality or health and to the other provisions of this Constitution.” The government adopted a package of four laws that many local and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) said were an infringement on religious freedom and other basic rights. The new laws, known collectively as the “race and religious protection” laws, included registration requirements for interfaith marriage and religious conversion, as well as mandatory population control measures in zones the government may specially designate. The government, however, has not drafted any implementing regulations for these laws. Government authorities, through various policies and practices, subjected Rohingya Muslims to physical abuse, arbitrary arrest and detention, restrictions on religious practice and travel, and discrimination in employment, social services, and access to citizenship. Religious minority populations, including Muslims, Christians, and others, experienced arrest and detention, restrictions on religious practice, and various forms of discrimination. Although the law prohibits mixing of religion and politics, some political parties described themselves as Muslim-free parties, and some monks publicly supported specific political candidates. Some government officials publicly spoke out against hate speech and called for religious tolerance. NGOs and religious groups said local authorities in some cases moved quickly to investigate and debunk rumors that could inflame religious tensions and spark violence.
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