The Constitution, which came into force on June 15, 2008, provides for freedom of religion, and other laws and policies contributed to the generally free practice of religion.The Government generally respected religious freedom in practice. There was no significant change in the status of respect for religious freedom by the Government during the period covered by this report.

Societal violence decreased marginally, but tensions between communities remained high, especially following the country’s declaration of independence on February 17, 2008. Although societal discrimination and violence appeared to be generally ethnically motivated, the close link between ethnicity and religion made it difficult to determine if events were motivated by ethnic or religious animosity.

The U.S. Government discusses religious freedom with the Government, the U.N. Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), and religious representatives as part of its overall policy to promote human rights. The U.S. Government intervened in specific cases to ensure that damage to places of worship belonging to the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) and other patrimonial sites was repaired and that the sites were protected.

The full text of the report is available here.

19 September 2008