|2000 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom:
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
U.S. Department of State, September 5, 2000
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice.
There was no change to the status of respect for religious freedom during the period covered by this report.
Both government policy and the generally amicable relationship among the religions in society contribute to the free practice of religion.
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. Government Policies on Freedom of Religion
The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government respects this right in practice. The Government at all levels generally protects this right in full, and does not tolerate abuse, either by governmental or private actors.
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.
The Government is secular, but most government officials are Christian. The Government does not take any particular steps to promote interfaith understanding.
Governmental Abuses of Religious Freedom
There were no confirmed reports that the Government abused religious freedom; however, members of the Rastafarian community have complained that law enforcement officials unfairly target them. However, it is not clear whether such complaints reflect discrimination on the basis of religious belief by authorities or simply enforcement of laws against marijuana, which is used as part of Rastafarian religious practices.
There were no reports of religious detainees or prisoners.
There was no change in the status of respect for religious freedom during the period covered by this report.
Forced Religious Conversion of Minor U.S. Citizens
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.
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