Religion

186,000Population

539 Km2Area

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homekeyboard_arrow_rightSaint Lucia

Legal framework on freedom of religion and actual application

The preamble of the constitution[1] states that the people of Saint Lucia affirm their faith in the supremacy of Almighty God. They believe that everyone was created equal by God, with inalienable rights and dignity. They recognise that the enjoyment of these rights depends on certain fundamental freedoms such as freedom of the individual, thought, expression, communication, conscience and association. They realise that human dignity requires respect for spiritual values.

The constitution specifies that everyone has certain fundamental rights and freedoms, whatever their race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed or sex, subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and the public interest. It recognises the right to personal freedom, equality before the law, as well as freedom of conscience, expression, assembly and association.

Conscientious objection to military service is recognised.

No person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his or her freedom of conscience: including freedom of thought and religion, the freedom to change one’s religion or belief, the freedom to manifest one’s belief, alone or with others, in public or in private, in worship, teaching, practice or observance.

Except with their consent (or that of their parents or guardian in case of minors under 18 years of age), no one attending a place of education or held in prison or serving in the Armed Forces can be required to receive religious instruction or take part in or attend a religious ceremony that is not of the religion they profess.

Each religious community has the right to establish and maintain, at their own expense, places of education. They also have the right to provide religious instruction to the members of their organisations irrespective of whether or not they receive a government subsidy.

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

Furthermore, no one shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person or authority. Discrimination means providing different or special treatment, totally or partially, to people based on their sex, race, place of origin, political opinion or affiliation, colour or creed.

Ministers of religion cannot be elected to the Senate or the House of Assembly.

Incidents

Based on information from government sources, churches and local media, there are no reports of intolerance, discrimination or persecution on religious grounds.

Prospects for freedom of religion

Similar to the previous reporting period, there were no incidents of note between 2016 and 2018. Hence, the situation has not changed and thus the prospects for freedom of religion remain positive.

 

Endnotes / Sources

[1] Constitution of Saint Lucia (Chapter 1:01), Government of Saint Lucia, http://www.govt.lc/media.govt.lc/www/resources/legislation/ConstitutionOfSaintLucia.pdf (accessed 3rd 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.