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Diplomacy in Action

Grenada


Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
Report
September 13, 2011

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The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom, and in practice, the government generally enforced these protections.

The government generally respected religious freedom in law and in practice. There was no change in the status of respect for religious freedom by the government during the reporting period.

There were no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.

The U.S. government discusses religious freedom with the government as part of its overall policy to promote human rights.

Section I. Religious Demography

The country, including the islands of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique, has an area of 133 square miles and a population of 108,000. There are 99,000 persons on the island of Grenada, 8,000 on Carriacou, and 900 on Petite Martinique. According to the 2001 census, 44 percent of the population is Roman Catholic, 12 percent Anglican, 11 percent Pentecostal, and 11 percent Seventh-day Adventist. Religious groups whose adherents number at least 2 percent of the population include Methodist, Presbyterian, Church of God, Baptist, and evangelical. Smaller groups include Jehovah's Witnesses, Brethren, Bahai, Hindu, Moravian, Muslim, Rastafarian, Salvation Army, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), and Mennonite. Approximately 4 percent of the population view themselves as nonbelievers. There are two mosques; an Islamic prayer center closed during the reporting period. There is no organized Jewish community. Saint George's University hosts Christian, Jewish, and Muslim student organizations; the government does not count its 3,700 foreign students in the census data.

Section II. Status of Government Respect for Religious Freedom

Legal/Policy Framework

Please refer to Appendix C in the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for the status of the government's acceptance of international legal standards http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/appendices/index.htm.

The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom, and in practice, the government generally enforced these protections. Article 9 of the constitution provides for freedom of religion.

The government is secular and does not interfere with an individual's right to worship. Religion is not listed on national identity documents. Certain types of religious headdress are permissible on photographs for national identity documents, provided that the face is visible and not shadowed.

The government funds secular schools as well as public schools administered by traditional denominations. Nonpracticing students at government-funded schools are not obliged to attend religion classes.

To qualify for customs tax exemptions and other privileges, religious groups must register with the Home Affairs Department, which is responsible for issuing licenses for religious groups, buildings, and events. There were no reports that the department denied any registrations during the reporting period.

Foreign missionaries require either a worker's permit or a waiver from the minister of labor. Foreign missionaries must demonstrate prior experience and be sponsored by a registered denomination. There were no reports that the government denied an application by a foreign missionary during the reporting period.

The government observes the following religious holidays as national holidays: Good Friday, Easter Monday, Whit Monday, and Christmas.

Restrictions on Religious Freedom

The government generally respected religious freedom in law and in practice. There was no change in the status of respect for religious freedom by the government during the reporting period.

There were no reports of abuses, including religious prisoners or detainees, in the country.

Section III. Status of Societal Actions Affecting Enjoyment of Religious Freedom

There were no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.

The Conference of Churches in Grenada facilitated closer relations among various religious organizations. Of the three historic churches in St. George's that lost roofs in the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes, reconstruction started only on the Catholic cathedral.

Section IV. U.S. Government Policy

The U.S. government discusses religious freedom with the government as part of its overall policy to promote human rights.



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