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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 23 November 2009 10:58
Religious Freedom Ranking:
3.5 out of 5 stars: Needs Improvement

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion. The government generally respects this right in practice. However, public schools instruct students in Christianity and Rastafarians complain of discrimination.

The country has a population of 119,000.  A 2001 census estimated the Anglican Church and Pentecostal congregations each had 19,000 members.  The Methodist, Seventh-day Adventist, and Baptist churches each had 11,000 adherents; 8,000 individuals were Roman Catholic and Rastafarians consist of 1,500 persons. Other religious groups include Church of God, other evangelical groups, Baha’is and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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

Nondenominational religious instruction based on Christianity is taught to public school students. Attendance is optional. Anglican and Catholic representatives are often invited to speak to students. Teachers may provide information on other religious groups.

The Christian Council, an organization involving delegates of the Anglican, Catholic and Methodist Churches, and Salvation Army and mainstream Protestant denominations, have maintained a close relationship with the government.

There have been no reports of religious prisoners or forced religious conversions.

Rastafarians have complained of discrimination in schools and in hiring.

Both the Christian Council of Churches and the Association of Evangelical Churches held activities to promote greater mutual understanding and respect among various Christian denominations.

 

2010 U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom on St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Last Updated on Monday, 13 February 2012 13:46