The constitution protects freedom of conscience, including freedom of thought and religion. It guarantees the right to change one’s religion and to manifest and propagate it. The constitution prohibits forced participation in any religious ceremony or instruction. The criminal code prohibits the publishing and sale of blasphemous language; however, the government does not enforce the law.
To qualify for customs and tax exemptions, a religious group must obtain recognition from the government as a nongovernmental organization (NGO). The group must also register with the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office (CAIPO) and with the Inland Revenue Office in the Ministry of Finance and provide a letter of request to the ministry. The attorney general grants final approval and the ministry grants the applications for tax exemptions. Applications are routinely granted. Recognition as an NGO requires the group to submit details to CAIPO regarding the organization, including information about its directors, as well as a description of the group’s general activities and the location of these activities.
The government allows religious head coverings of certain types, including the hijab and the Rastafarian head wrap, in photographs for national identity documents, provided the face is clearly visible.
The government subsidizes all existing denominational schools, managed by a board of directors and staffed by the associated faith-based organization, including those of the Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Seventh-day Adventist, and Mennonite communities. There are no non-Christian denominational schools. Students at such schools may attend religion classes and may use credits from those classes towards completion of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate. Students from religions other than the one associated with a school may also attend these schools and are not obligated to attend religion classes.
Foreign missionaries require a worker’s permit costing 1,000 to 5,000 East Caribbean dollars ($370-$1,900) or a waiver costing 500 East Caribbean dollars ($190) from the Ministry of Labor. They must demonstrate prior experience, and a registered religious group must sponsor them.
The country is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The Religious Affairs Unit continued to function within the Ministry of Education. The government continued to review its religious affairs program to determine appropriate resource allocation and to design an annual work program through year’s end.
As in previous years, the government’s official declarations, speeches, and activities attended by the governor general, prime minister, and other government officials often included religious references; denominational and ecumenical Christian worship services were part of official festivities on national holidays. On October 25, Prime Minister Keith Mitchell and other cabinet ministers attended an ecumenical church service commemorating Grenadian Thanksgiving, marking the 1983 U.S. military intervention.