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U.S. Department of State Annual Report on International Religious Freedom for 2002 - Barbados

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 7 October 2002
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State Annual Report on International Religious Freedom for 2002 - Barbados , 7 October 2002, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3da3f08720.html [accessed 31 August 2014]
Comments This report is submitted to the Congress by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. The law provides that the Secretary of State, with the assistance of the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, shall transmit to Congress "an Annual Report on International Religious Freedom supplementing the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom." This Annual Report includes 195 reports on countries worldwide. The 2002 Report covers the period from July 1, 2001, to June 30, 2002.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

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 the 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

The country has a total land area of 166 square miles, and its population is approximately 265,000. Christianity is the dominant religion, of which members of the Anglican church constitute a majority. There also are significant numbers of adherents to the Pentecostal, Methodist, Moravian, Roman Catholic, Seventh-Day Adventist, Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptist, and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) congregations. Other religions include Rastafarianism, the Baha'i Faith, Judaism, and Islam. Several denominations sponsor missionary activities.

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, but most government officials are Christian. The Government does not take any steps to promote interfaith understanding. Christian holy days such as Good Friday, Easter, Whit Monday, and Christmas are national holidays.

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 country has a history of being open and tolerant of diverse forms of worship. Relations between the various religious communities are generally amicable. The Barbados Christian Council and the Caribbean Conference of Churches conduct activities to promote greater mutual understanding and tolerance among adherents of different denominations within the Christian faith.

Although society is dominated by Christian attitudes, values and mores, individuals respect the rights of religious minorities such as Jews, Baha'is, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, and others.

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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