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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

St. Kitts and Nevis


International Religious Freedom Report 2002
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

St. Kitts and Nevis, a 2-island federation, has a total land area of 104 square miles, and its population is approximately 41,570, with an estimated 34,800 persons on St. Kitts and an estimated 11,000 on Nevis. Approximately 96 percent of the population are of African descent, with most adhering to Anglican beliefs. Racially diverse minority worshippers are members of Catholic, Methodist, Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah's Witnesses, Rastafarian and other faiths or beliefs. The dominant religion is Christianity (mostly Methodist, Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Moravian). There is a Baha'i minority.

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 strives to protect this right in full, and does not tolerate its abuse, either by governmental or private actors.

The Government is secular, and does not interfere with an individual's right to worship. Most government officials are Christian. Christian holy days, such as Good Friday, Easter, Whit Monday, and Christmas, are national holidays. The Government does not take any steps to promote interfaith understanding.

Restrictions on Religious Freedom

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

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 refusal to allow such citizens to be returned to the United States.

Section III. Societal Attitudes

The Federation's citizens have a history of being open and tolerant of all faiths. Although the society is dominated by Christian attitudes, values, and mores, citizens respect the rights of followers of minority religions such as Baha'is, Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs.

Section IV. U.S. Government Policy

The U.S. Embassy discusses religious freedom issues with the Government, local groups, and other organizations in the context of its overall dialog and policy of promoting human rights.

 



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