Released by the U.S. Department of State Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor on December 18, 2003, covers the period from July 1, 2002, to June 30, 2003.
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 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
St. Vincent and a chain of smaller islands, the Grenadines, has a total area of 150 square miles, and its population is approximately 116,400. Christianity is the dominant religion, with most adhering to Anglican beliefs. There are also Seventh-day Adventist, Roman Catholic, Methodist, and Pentecostal faiths. The minority religions include Rastafarianism, the Baha'i faith and Islam.
Section II. Status of Religious Freedom
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 and does not interfere with an individual's right to worship. 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 detainees or prisoners.
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
Relations between the various religious communities are generally amicable. However, some members of society do not hold Rastafarianism in high regard because of its popular association with marijuana use. The Christian Council of Churches conducts activities to promote greater mutual understanding and tolerance among adherents of different denominations within the Christian faith.
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.