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Solomon Islands PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 24 November 2009 20:50
Religious Freedom Ranking:
3.5 out of 5 stars: Needs Improvement

In the Solomon Islands the Constitution provides for freedom of religion and the government respects this freedom in practice.  It also fully protects the right against societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.

The country has a population of 552,000 with approximately 92 percent affiliated with the Christian faith.  An estimated 35 percent is Anglican, 19 percent Roman Catholic, 17 percent South Seas Evangelical, 11 percent Methodist, and 10 percent Seventh-day Adventist.  On the island of Malaita the Kwaio community practices indigenous animistic religions; this constitutes 5 percent of the population.  Other groups that make up less than 5 percent of the population include Islam, the Baha’i Faith, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Unification Church, and various indigenous religions.  The Solomon Islands Christian Association (SICA) governs most national religious activities.

The Department of Home Affairs has its own policymaking position concerning religious worship.  It keeps in balance the rights of religious freedom, freedom of speech, and freedom of expression while upholding public order.  Religious organizations must first register with the Government; there have been no reports made that any religious organization was denied the opportunity for registration.

Public schools are allotted one hour each day dedicated to the religious teachings agreed upon by Christian churches.  Parents are given the right to have their children excused from religion classes.  The Government sponsors church schools when their curriculums are coordinated with governmental criteria.  Non-Christian religious teachings are allowed to be taught in class but so far there have been no reports that such events have occurred.

2010 U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report on the Solomon Islands

Last Updated on Monday, 13 February 2012 18:32