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Antigua and Barbuda PDF Print E-mail
Religious Freedom Ranking
3.5 out of 5 stars: Needs Improvement

The Constitution provides for religious freedom, and the government is considered a secular state. However, the government keeps a close relationship with the Antigua Christian Council, which excludes non-Christian groups as well as some smaller and newer groups which identify themselves as Christian. The government Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs, coordinated by the prime minister’s office, has the goal of creating effective interaction between churches, other religious groups and the government, as well as to assist with the admission of religious workers into the country.

The country has a population of 86,800. According to a 2001 census, 74 percent of the population is Christian. The Christian denominations include the Anglican Church, which is the largest religious group, Methodist, Moravian, Roman Catholic and the United Evangelical Association.  Jehovah’s Witnesses number more than 1,000 members.  There are 1,000 to 1,500 Rastafarians, more than 200 Muslims, almost 200 Hindus and an estimated 50 members of the Baha’i Faith.

Rastafarians reportedly experienced discrimination when applying for jobs and in schools. Baha’is complained that requests for meetings with state officials have been rebuffed as a result of the Baha’i protests against the government’s inaction on Iran’s human rights abuses.

The government does not mandate the registration of religious groups.  Registered religious groups received tax and duty-free concessions. The Constitution prohibits members of the clergy from running for elected office.

Religious education is not taught in public schools. The government observes the following religious holidays as national holidays: Good Friday, Easter Monday, Whit Monday, and Christmas.

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

2010 U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom on Antigua and Barbuda