The constitution and other laws provide for freedom of religion, including the freedom to change one’s religion, and prohibit discrimination based on religious belief. Rastafarians said they continued to oppose the government requirement for their children to be vaccinated in order to enter school and the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology requirement that all Rastafarian children cover their hair when attending school. Muslims stated they continued to object to a government policy requiring women to remove the hijab for identification and passport photographs.
Rastafarians said they continued to face some social discrimination, specifically for their dreadlocks, but they said societal attitudes regarding Rastafarianism continued to become more positive. Unknown individuals spray-painted anti-Semitic epithets on the walls of a synagogue in Bridgetown in March.
U.S. embassy officials raised with several government ministries and offices the importance of freedom of religious expression and discrimination issues expressed by some religious minorities, including members of the Muslim and the Rastafarian communities. Embassy officials engaged leaders of civil society and religious groups, including the Muslim, Rastafarian, Anglican, Catholic, and Jewish communities, on freedom of religious expression and on any concerns regarding issues of discrimination.