The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice.
There was no change to 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 the 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 island of St. Vincent and a chain of smaller islands, the Grenadines, have a total area of 150 square miles; the population is approximately 108,000. The dominant religion is Christianity (Anglican, Seventh-Day Adventist, Roman Catholic, Methodist, and Pentecostal). The minority religions are Islam, the Baha'i Faith, and Rastafarianism.
Section II. Status of Religious Freedom
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 in full, and does not tolerate its abuse, either by governmental or private actors.
The Government is secular and most government officials are Christian, but the Government does not interfere with an individual's right to worship. Christian holy days such as Good Friday, Easter, Whit Monday, and Christmas are national holidays. The Government does not take any particular steps to promote interfaith understanding.
Restrictions on Religious Freedom
Government policy and practice contributed to the generally unrestricted practice of religion. Members of the Rastafarian community have complained that law officials unfairly target them. However, it is not clear whether such complaints reflect discrimination on the basis of religious belief by authorities or simply enforcement of laws against marijuana, which is used as part of Rastafarian religious practice.
There were no reports of religious prisoners or detainees.
Forced Religious Conversion
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 allow such citizens to be returned to the United States.
Section III. Societal Attitudes
Relations between the various religious communities are generally amicable. However, some members of society do not regard Rastafarianism favorably because of its popular association with drug use. The Christian Council of Churches conducts activities to promote greater mutual understanding and tolerance among adherents of different denominations within the Christian faith.
Section IV. U.S. Government Policy
The U.S. Embassy discusses religious freedom with the Government, local groups, and other organizations in the context of its overall dialog and policy of promoting human rights.