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U.S. Department of State Annual Report on International Religious Freedom for 2006 - St. Kitts and Nevis

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 15 September 2006
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State Annual Report on International Religious Freedom for 2006 - St. Kitts and Nevis , 15 September 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/450fb0c925.html [accessed 2 August 2014]
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.

International Religious Freedom Report 2006

Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, September 15, 2006. Covers the period from July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2006.

The constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respected 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 religious groups in society contributed to religious freedom.

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

Section I. Religious Demography

The country has an area of 104 square miles and a population of approximately 46,000. Christianity was the dominant religion. An estimated 50 percent of the population adhered to Anglican beliefs, and 25 percent were Roman Catholic. Methodist, Moravian, Seventh-day Adventist, and Jehovah's Witnesses denominations were also present. Evangelical Christian denominations have been gaining followers. There was a small Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) community. Minority religious groups included Rastafarians and members of the Baha'i Faith. There was no organized Jewish community, although there is a Jewish cemetery on Nevis.

Section II. Status of Religious Freedom

Legal/Policy Framework

The constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respected this right in practice. The Government at all levels sought to protect this right in full and did not tolerate its abuse, either by governmental or private actors. The Government is secular and did not interfere with an individual's right to worship.

The Ministry of Social Development is responsible for the registration of religious groups.

The Christian holy days of Good Friday, Easter, Whit Monday, and Christmas are national holidays.

There were two Catholic schools and a Seventh-day Adventist school. The Government did not contribute financially to these schools. The Government requires all schools to conduct morning Christian prayers and hymns.

Restrictions on Religious Freedom

Government policy and practice contributed to the generally free practice of religion. However, Rastafarians complained that the use of marijuana, pertinent to their religious rituals, was illegal.

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

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 Abuses and Discrimination

The generally amicable relationship among religious groups in society contributed to religious freedom.

The St. Kitts Christian Council, which included Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, and other traditional Christian religious groups, conducted activities to promote greater mutual understanding and tolerance among adherents of different Christian denominations. The Evangelical Association united eleven churches in the evangelical community and promoted their interests.

Rastafarians complained that there was widespread discrimination against their members, especially in hiring and in schools.

Section IV. U.S. Government Policy

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

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