The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom and, in practice, the government generally respected religious freedom. The government did not demonstrate a trend toward either improvement or deterioration in respect for and protection of the right to religious freedom.
There were reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice. Sporadic attacks on Christian churches by Buddhist extremists and some societal tension due to ongoing allegations of forced or deceitful conversions continued, although the number and scale of attacks were reportedly fewer than in recent years.
U.S. embassy officials conveyed U.S. government concerns about religious freedom issues, particularly attacks on churches, to government leaders and urged them to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators. The ambassador and other embassy officials also discussed religious freedom concerns with religious leaders and regularly met with representatives of all the country’s religious groups to review a wide range of human rights, ethnic, and religious freedom concerns. The U.S. embassy supported interfaith efforts by religious leaders to promote a peaceful resolution of the underlying causes of conflict, and the U.S. embassy undertook a number of projects promoting interfaith dialogue and cooperative engagement.