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Barbados PDF Print E-mail
Religious Freedom Ranking:
4 out of 5 stars: Good
4star

 

The Constitution provides for the free practice of religion and this principle is generally upheld by the government. The country has a population of 280,000.  A 2000 census reports that more than 95 percent of the population is Christian; however, a recent poll estimates the number at 75 percent.  Anglicans number 70,000; Seventh-day Adventists, 16,000; Roman Catholics, 11,000; Pentecostals, 7,000; Methodists, 5,000; and Jehovah’s Witnesses, 2,500.  Other smaller Christian denominations include Baptists, Moravians and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  There are an estimated 4,000 Muslims.  Other non-Christian religious groups include Rastafarians, Hindus, Buddhists and the Baha’i Faith.

It is required that religious groups register with the government if they want to receive duty-free import advantages or tax benefits.

The public school curriculum offers religious instruction as “values education.”  Christianity was the main focus, but representatives from other religious groups were welcome to present their views. The government observes the following religious holidays as national holidays: Good Friday, Easter Monday, Whit Monday, and Christmas.

Rastafarians reportedly experienced discrimination in the working environment and in schools. There were no reports of religious prisoners or forced religious conversions.

The Barbados Christian Council and the Caribbean Conference of Churches managed activities that promoted effective mutual cooperation and respect among different Christian groups.

 

2010 U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom on Barbados