The constitution and other laws and policies generally protect religious freedom. An unenforced law prohibits publication and sale of any blasphemous book, writing, or representation.
The constitution specifically forbids infringement of a person’s freedom to choose and change his or her religion and provides for the right to practice the religion of one’s choice. The law provides effective remedies to enforce these rights.
The constitution requires the government to respect Christian values. The government meets regularly, both publicly and privately, with The Bahamas Christian Council (BCC), which is composed of religious leaders from the major Christian denominations, to discuss societal, political, and economic issues.
Religious groups do not have registration requirements, although they must incorporate legally to purchase land. There are no legal provisions to encourage or discourage the formation of religious communities, which have the same taxation requirements as for-profit companies, if they legally incorporate.
Religion is recognized as an academic subject at government schools and is included in mandatory standardized achievement and certificate tests. Religion classes in government-supported schools focus on the study of Christian philosophy, biblical texts, and, to a lesser extent, comparative and non-Christian religions. The constitution allows students, or their guardians in the case of minors, to decline to participate in religious education and observance in schools.
The practice of Obeah (and Voodoo) is illegal, and those caught practicing it or attempting to intimidate, steal, inflict disease, or restore a person to health through the practice of Obeah, may be sentenced to three months in prison.