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Equatorial Guinea
Tuesday, 07 June 2011 00:00
Religious Freedom Ranking:
3 out of 5 stars: Needs Improvement

 

Ever since its independence from Spain in 1968, Equatorial Guinea has been severely criticized by a variety of human rights organizations and governments on a wide variety of human rights issues. However, in the narrow field of religious freedom its record, while favoring the Catholic and Reform churches, is better than its record on other human rights.

There is no state religion, and the government claims not to discriminate against any faith. However, the Catholic Church and the Reformed Church of Equatorial Guinea are favored in some respects as shown in a 1992 presidential decree. This regulation stipulates that Catholic masses are a normal part of any official ceremony, and Catholic and Reform church officials are exempt from paying airport entry and exit taxes. The Ministry of Justice must first formally recognize a religious organization before its practice is allowed. There have been some restrictions on clergy regarding criticism of the government. There are also reports that supervisors in government positions have pressured non-Catholic employees to participate in religious events.

The country has a population of 750,000. Christians account for 93 percent of the population, and among this group 87 percent are Roman Catholic and six percent are Protestant. Five percent of the population practice traditional indigenous beliefs and the rest are Muslim, Baha’i or practice another religion.


2010 U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report on Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea - New World Encyclopedia
Equatorial Guinea Country Profile- BBC News

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 20:43