Religious Influences – religious freedom
The Constitution of Afghanistan proclaims:
"Followers of other religions are free to exercise their faith and perform their religious rites within the limits of the provisions of law." It also states that Islam is the "religion of the state" and that "no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam."
The right to religious freedom is not respected in practice. Reports of problems involving religious freedom continue despite reform efforts. Cases involving religious freedom have sparked demonstrations in major cities. Conversions from Islam are condemned and along with censorship, limit citizens' ability to freely practice other religions.
In a population which is almost entirely Muslim, non-Muslim minority groups face incidents of discrimination and persecution. Conversion is understood by many citizens to be contrary to the basic principles of Islam. Due to societal pressure, most local Christians hide their religion from their neighbors and others. Local Sikh and Hindu populations are allowed to practice publicly; however, they continue to face problems obtaining land for cremation purposes, discrimination when seeking government jobs, and harassment during major celebrations. Within the Muslim population, relations among the different sects of Islam continue to be difficult. Historically, the minority Shi'a community has faced discrimination from the majority Sunni population. This discrimination continues to exist.