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St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Religious Freedom Report 1999

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Section I. Freedom of Religion

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government respects this right in practice.

The dominant religion is Christianity (Seventh-Day Adventist, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist) but religious freedom for others is not affected adversely. There are Rastafarian and Baha'i minorities. Some Rastafarians claim discrimination by the local police force because their religion sanctions the use of marijuana, which is illegal in the country.

The Government is secular, but most government officials are Christian. The Government does not take any particular steps to promote interfaith understanding.

There was no change in the status of respect for religious freedom during the period covered by this report.

There were no reports of religious detainees or prisoners.

There were no reports of the forced religious conversion of minor U.S. citizens who had been abducted or illegally removed from the United States, or of the Government's refusal to allow such citizens to be returned to the United States.

Section II. Societal Attitudes

Relations between the various religious communities are generally amicable. However, some members of society do not regard Rastafarianism favorably because of its popular association with drug 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 III. U.S. Government Policy

The U.S. Embassy discusses religious freedom with the Government in the overall context of the promotion of human rights. Embassy representatives have discussed issues or events surrounding religious freedom with government officials when soliciting support for international organization resolutions concerning religious freedom.

Source: U.S. State Department


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