The constitution provides for the right to practice or not to practice religion freely and prohibits discrimination based on religion. These and other rights may only temporarily be suspended or restricted in the event of a declaration of a state of war, siege, or emergency. The constitution prohibits faith-based political parties and the use of religious symbols in politics. Religious groups have the right to organize, worship, and operate schools. The government continued to register religious groups and organizations; however, a Catholic Church representative said that authorities in certain provinces required some dioceses to register locally in what he said was a violation of a 2012 agreement between the central government and the Holy See. The Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches continued to seek the return of properties the government seized in the years after independence.
In February four unidentified individuals fatally shot an Apostolic Faith Mission pastor in the central city of Chimoio. The pastor’s widow said her husband may have been targeted because of a conflict with other churches.
The U.S. Ambassador and other embassy officials discussed the importance of religious freedom and the return of seized church property with the justice minister and the national director of religious affairs. Embassy representatives also discussed the importance of religious tolerance with Catholic Church representatives and religious leaders in Nampula.