Stable / Unchanged

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Religion

56,200Population

261 Km2Area

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homekeyboard_arrow_rightSaint Kitts and Nevis

Legal framework on freedom of religion and actual application

The preamble of the constitution[1] states that the nation has been established on the basis of belief in Almighty God.

The constitution states that everyone has fundamental rights and freedoms, irrespective of race, place of origin, birth, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, such as freedom of conscience, expression and association.[2] The right to conscientious objection to military service is recognised.

No-one can be denied the right to freedom of conscience, which includes freedom of thought and religion, freedom to change one’s religion or belief and to manifest one’s belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance, either individually or collectively, in public or in private.

Every religious community is entitled, at its own expense, to establish and manage their own places of education.

No one may be compelled or coerced into taking an oath against, or in a manner contrary to, their beliefs or religion.

Incidents

No violations of freedom of religion were reported in the period under review. The relationship between the Churches and the government improved through close collaboration in the task of rehabilitating the country following the disastrous Hurricane Irma. In September 2017, Prime Minister Timothy Harris congratulated the Churches for working with the authorities in the wake of the hurricane.[3] The clergy, in cooperation with the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs, issued a “call to prayer” that was broadcast on radio. The Prime Minister said that it was well-needed initiative and congratulated the religious community for the role they played.

Prospects for freedom of religion

During the period under review, there were no reports of intolerance or outright persecution on religious grounds. In the absence of incidents in recent years, we may conclude that there is no change with respect to the previous period. Prospects for the future are positive.

Endnotes / Sources

[1] All articles cited are from Saint Kitts and Nevis’s Constitution of 1983, constituteproject.org, https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/St_Kitts_and_Nevis_1983.pdf?lang=en (accessed 22nd March 2018).

[2] National Profiles Saint Kitts and Nevis, The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA), http://www.thearda.com/internationalData/countries/Country_189_6.asp (accessed 10th March 2018).

[3] “PM Harris commends church for its demonstrated leadership, prayers in ‘our time of need’’’,  St. Kitts & Nevis Observer, 21th September 2017, http://www.thestkittsnevisobserver.com/local-news/pm-harris-commends-church-for-its-demonstrated-leadership-prayers-in-our-time-of-need/ (accessed 4th March 2018).

About us

Founded in 1947 as a Catholic aid organization for war refugees and recognized as a papal foundation since 2011, ACN is dedicated to the service of Christians around the world, through information, prayer and action, wherever they are persecuted or oppressed or suffering material need. ACN supports every year an average of 6000 projects in close to 150 countries, thanks to private donations, as the foundation receives no public funding.