Last Updated: Thursday, 27 November 2014, 13:39 GMT

2010 Report on International Religious Freedom - St. Kitts and Nevis

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 17 November 2010
Cite as United States Department of State, 2010 Report on International Religious Freedom - St. Kitts and Nevis, 17 November 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4cf2d0665f.html [accessed 28 November 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.

[Covers the period from July 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010]

The constitution provides for freedom of religion, and other laws and policies contributed to the generally free practice of religion.

The government generally respected religious freedom in practice. There was no change in the status of respect for religious freedom by the government during the reporting period.

There were no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice, and prominent societal leaders took positive steps to promote religious freedom.

The U.S. government discusses religious freedom 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 46,000. Christianity is the dominant religion. An estimated 50 percent of the population adheres to Anglican beliefs, and 25 percent is Roman Catholic. There are Methodists, Moravians, Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Rastafarians, Muslims, Hindus, and members of the Baha'i Faith. Evangelical Christian groups are gaining followers. There is no organized Jewish community.

Section II. Status of Government Respect for Religious Freedom

Legal/Policy Framework

The constitution provides for freedom of religion, and other laws and policies contributed to the generally free practice of religion. The government is secular and did not interfere with an individual's right to worship.

The government observes the following religious holidays as national holidays: Good Friday, Easter, Whit Monday, and Christmas.

The Ministry of Social Development is responsible for registering religious groups.

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

Rastafarians complained that the government prohibited the use of marijuana, which they claimed was integral to their religious rituals.

The local leader of the Muslim community runs the Community Cohesion Office, a government program to promote civil society in Nevis.

Restrictions on Religious Freedom

The government generally respected religious freedom in practice. There was no change in the status of respect for religious freedom by the government during the reporting period.

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

Forced Religious Conversion

There were no reports of forced religious conversion.

Section III. Status of Societal Respect for Religious Freedom

There were no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice, and prominent societal leaders took positive steps to promote religious freedom. Rastafarians, however, complained of discrimination, especially in hiring and in schools.

The Saint Kitts Christian Council, which included Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, and other traditional Christian religious groups, conducted activities to promote greater mutual understanding and respect among different Christian denominations. The Evangelical Association united 11 churches in the evangelical community and promoted their interests.

Section IV. U.S. Government Policy

The U.S. government discusses religious freedom with the government as part of its overall policy to promote human rights. Representatives of the U.S. embassy also discussed religious freedom with local religious leaders and hosted an iftar (evening meal during Ramadan) in Nevis attended by 50 local Muslims and expatriate students.

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