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Saint Lucia PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 23 November 2009 10:54
Religious Freedom Ranking:
3.5 out of 5 stars: Needs Improvement

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the government generally respects this right in practice. However it requires religious groups to register, and has suspended approving new registrations pending a revision of the requirements for approval.

The country has a population of 160,000.  A 2001 census estimated that Roman Catholics accounted for 67 percent of the population; Seventh-day Adventists, 9 percent; Pentecostals, 6 percent; evangelicals and Anglicans, 2 percent each and Baptists and Methodists represented smaller percentages.

There are an estimated 350 Muslims. Other religious groups include Baha’is and Rastafarians. Nearly 5 percent of the population claimed no religious affiliation.

The government is secular and does not obstruct an individual’s right to worship.  However, the Christian Council, an organization involving delegates of the Catholic Church and mainstream Protestant denominations, has maintained a close relationship with the government.

The government observes the following religious holidays as national holidays: Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Whit Monday and Christmas.

Recently, the government has been undergoing a revision of its registration policy for religious groups. It has suspended applications for official registration as a religious group until the completion of this process. Affected communities included Muslims, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and 10 other organizations. 

Public schools provide Christian education; however, non-Christian students did not have to attend such classes.  The Catholic and Anglican Churches have sponsored different private schools.

There were no reports of religious prisoners or forced religious conversions.

Rastafarians have complained of discrimination in the schools and hiring.

 

2010 U.S State Department International Religious Freedom on St. Lucia
Last Updated on Monday, 13 February 2012 13:12