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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Extended Protestant

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Protestant (incl. Anglican, Pentecostal) (64%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 yes
Does the constitution state an official religion?3 not stated
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 yes [Section 19]
Does the constitution protect religious equality/non-discrimination?3 yes [Sections 11, 23]


Constitution Year3 1966
Last Amended3 2007
Source3 WIPO;
Translation3 Original was written in English.
Current as of3 July 13, 2018

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)3


Now, therefore, the people of Barbados

(a) proclaim that they are a sovereign nation founded upon principles that acknowledge the supremacy of God,

Section 11. Fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual.

Whereas every person in Barbados is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his … creed …, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely— [here follow enumerated rights]

Section 19. Protection of freedom of conscience.

(1) Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of conscience and for the purpose of this section the said freedom includes freedom of thought and of religion, freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others, and both in public and in private, to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

(2) Every religious community shall be entitled, at its own expense, to establish and maintain places of education and to manage any place of education which it wholly maintains.

(3) No religious community shall be prevented from providing religious instruction for persons of that community in the course of any education provided by that community whether or not that community is in receipt of any government subsidy, grant or other form of financial assistance designed to meet, in whole or in part, the cost of such course of education.

(4) Except with his own consent (or, if he is a person who has not attained the age of twenty-one years, the consent of his guardian), no person attending any place of education shall be required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or attend any religious ceremony or observance if that instruction, ceremony or observance relates to a religion which is not his own.

(5) No person shall be compelled to take any oath which is contrary to his religion or belief or to take any oath in a manner which is contrary to his religion or belief.

(6) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision—

(a) which is reasonably required—

(i) in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or

(ii) for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons, including the right to observe and practise any religion without the unsolicited intervention of members of any other religion; or

(b) with respect to standards or qualifications to be required in relation to places of education including any instruction (not being religious instruction) given at such places.

(7) References in this section to a religion shall be construed as including references to a religious denomination, and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly.

Section 23. Protection from discrimination on grounds of race, etc.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section—

(a) no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect; and

(b) no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.

(2) In this section the expression "discriminatory" means afford-ing different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by … creed, whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not afforded to persons of another such description.

[Some technical exceptions follow]

Section 36. Senate.

(4) Seven Senators shall be appointed by the Governor-General, acting in his discretion, by instrument under the Public Seal, to represent religious, economic or social interests or such other interests as the Governor-General considers ought to be represented: …


1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports annual estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivisions within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

3.  Text from country constitutions was copied from primary documents obtained online using a variety of sources, including the Constitute Project, World Constitutions Illustrated, and government sources. When the text was in a language other than English, it was translated to English by ARDA staff or with web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to differentiate religious content from non-religious content. Text is current to the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

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