There were almost 3,000 Muslims living in Lithuania in 2011, according to the latest population census. The Lithuanian Social Research reports in this document that Muslims were one of the most negatively viewed religious groups in Lithuania in 2016. This is partially due to the high coverage of the recent refugee arrivals in European countries and hardening of the European Union’s politics towards refugees, as well as the negative opinions shared by Lithuanian politicians during the parliamentary election campaign in 2016.
Although the Ombudsman for Equal Opportunities did not receive any complaints regarding discrimination on the ground of religion (Islam) in 2016 and no data are available on hate crime towards Muslims in the country, media reported attacks against refugees. Hate crimes and incitement of hatred cases remain under-reported or registered as general criminal offences.
Concerning discrimination on the labour market, public opinion polls show that headscarves and beards are mentioned as elements that might scare potential employers and prevent them from hiring an individual. However, no incident involving Muslims has been reported to the Ombudsman in 2016. The later did nonetheless investigate one case of discrimination on the ground of ethnicity involving a person of Arab origin.