International Religious Freedom Report 2006
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

The constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respected this right in practice.

There was no change in the status of respect for religious freedom during the period covered by this report, and government policy continued to contribute to the generally free practice of religion.

The generally amicable relationship among religious groups in society contributed to religious freedom.

The U.S. government discusses religious freedom issues with the Government as part of its overall policy to promote human rights.

Section I. Religious Demography

The country has an area of approximately 70 square miles, and the estimated population in 2005 was 56,417. Major religious groups included the United Church of Christ (formerly Congregational), with 54.8 percent of the population; the Assemblies of God, 25.8 percent; and the Roman Catholic Church, 8.4 percent. Bukot Non Jesus (known as Assembly of God Part), 2.8 percent; the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), 2.1 percent; Seventh-day Adventists, 0.9 percent; Full Gospel, 0.7 percent; and the Baha'i Faith, 0.6 percent. Persons without any religious affiliation accounted for 1.5 percent of the population, and another 1.4 percent belonged to religious groups not named in the 1999 census, but which local religious leaders believed to consist of Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptists, and the Salvation Army.

There were foreign missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Roman Catholic Church, Seventh-day Adventists, the Baptist Church, and other groups. Only Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses proselytized through home visits. Religious schools were operated by the Roman Catholic Church, United Church of Christ, Assemblies of God, Seventh-day Adventist Church, and Baptist Church.

Section II. Status of Religious Freedom

Legal/Policy Framework

The constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respected this right in practice. The Government at all levels sought to protect this right in full and did not tolerate its abuse, either by governmental or private actors. There is no state religion.

Good Friday, Gospel Day, and Christmas are official religious holidays.

There are no prerequisites for registering religious groups and there are no penalties for not registering. Missionary groups are allowed to operate freely.

There is no religious education in public schools, and there are no opening or closing prayers during the school day. However, most extracurricular school events begin and end with a nondenominational Christian prayer.

Restrictions on Religious Freedom

Government policy and practice contributed to the generally free practice of religion.

There were no reports of religious prisoners or detainees in the country.

Forced Religious Conversion

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

Section III. Societal Attitudes

The generally amicable relationship among religious groups in society contributed to religious freedom. Christianity was a dominant social and cultural force. Governmental and social functions typically opened and closed with an interdenominational Christian prayer delivered by an ordained minister, cleric, or church official.

Section IV. U.S. Government Policy

The U.S. embassy discusses religious freedom issues with the Government as part of its overall policy to promote human rights.

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