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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Marshall Islands


International Religious Freedom Report
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
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The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice.

There was no change in the status of respect for religious freedom during the period covered by this report, and government policy continued to contribute to the generally free practice of religion.

The generally amicable relationship among religions in society contributed to religious freedom.

The U.S. Government discusses religious freedom issues with the Government in the context of its overall dialog and policy of promoting human rights.

Section I. Religious Demography

The country's total land area is approximately 67 square miles, and the estimated population in 2000 was 52,000. Major religions include the United Church of Christ (formerly Congregational) with 54.8 percent of the population; the Assembly of God with 25.8 percent; and the Roman Catholic Church with 8.4 percent. Also represented are Bukot Nan Jesus (also known as Assembly of God Part Two) with 2.8 percent; the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints (Mormons) with 2.1 percent; Seventh-Day Adventists with 0.9 percent; Full Gospel with 0.7 percent; and the Baha'i Faith with 0.6 percent. Persons without any religious affiliation account for 1.5 percent of the population, and another 1.4 percent belong to religions not named in the 1999 census.

There are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Seventh-Day Adventists. Religious schools include the Assumption Catholic School and the Rita Christian School as well as facilities operated by the United Church of Christ and the Assembly of God.

Section II. Status of Religious Freedom

Legal/Policy Framework

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice. The Government at all levels generally protects this right and does not tolerate its abuse, either by governmental or private actors. There is no state religion. Missionary groups are allowed to operate freely.

Restrictions on Religious Freedom

Government policy and practice contributed to the generally unrestricted practice of religion.

There were no reports of religious prisoners or detainees.

Forced Religious Conversions

There were no reports of forced religious conversion, including of minor U.S. citizens who had been abducted or illegally removed from the United States, or of the Government's refusal to all such citizens to be returned to the United States.

Section III. Societal Attitudes

Although Christianity is a dominant social and cultural force, there are amicable relations between the country's religious denominations. Nonbelievers, who constitute a very small percentage of the residents, do not suffer discrimination. Typically, governmental and social functions begin and end with an interdenominational Christian prayer delivered by an ordained minister, cleric, or church official.

Section IV. U.S. Government Policy

The U.S. Embassy discusses religious freedom issues with the Government in the context of its overall dialog and policy of promotion of human rights.



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