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U.S. Department of State
Annual Report on International Religious Freedom for 1999

Released by the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
Washington, DC, September 9, 1999


Section I. Freedom of Religion

The Constitution provides for religious freedom, and the Government respects this right in practice. There is no state religion.

The major religions are Roman Catholicism and traditional indigenous religions. Approximately 90 percent of the population are Catholic, 5 percent practice traditional indigenous religions, and 5 percent are atheist.

There are no restrictions on the activities of foreign clergy. There are only Catholic missionaries in the country. However, missionaries of any other religion also could operate unhindered.

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

There are amicable relations between the various religious communities.

Section III. U.S. Government Policy

The U.S. Embassy, based in Libreville, Gabon, discusses religious freedom issues with the Government in the overall context of the promotion of human rights. In addition, embassy officials regularly meet with the country's Catholic bishop during visits.

[End of Document]

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Revised last: 10-09-1999