Last Updated 7 December 2023

The Republic of Seychelles, an archipelago off the east coast of Africa, has the smallest population of any African nation.

Recent census data has not recorded the religious demography of the country.1 At the time of last documentation (2010), it was estimated that 76% of the population was Roman Catholic, 6% Anglican, 2.4% Hindu, 1.6% Muslim, with other smaller religious groups including Baha’is, Brahma Kumaris, Rastafarians, and other Christian groups. 0.9% of the population reported no religious beliefs at this time, while a further 4.8% did not answer the question.2

Severe Discrimination
Systemic Discrimination
Mostly Satisfactory

Constitution and government

The preamble of the Constitution contains multiple invocations to “Almighty God,” going so far as to describe the Seychelles as “one Nation under God.”

Article 21 of the Constitution3 grants citizens the right to freedom of conscience, thought and religion, which includes the right to change religion or belief, and makes plain that the profession of religious beliefs shall not be required as a qualification for public office. It also prevents the inclusions of provisions within law that establish any religion or impose religious observance on others. The Constitution also enshrines the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.

Education and children’s rights

There are no faith-based schools and the Government prohibits compulsory religious education in state schools. It does however permit religious organizations to provide their own religious instruction during school hours.4

Reportedly, non-Catholic students in public schools that provide Catholic instruction are not consistently offered alternative activities during those classes, according to research conducted by the US State Department.5

Family, community & society

Article 39(1) enshrines “the right of every person to take part in cultural life and to profess, promote, enjoy and protect the cultural and customary values of the Seychellois people.”

LGBTI+ rights

Same-sex marriage is expressly prohibited under Article 32(2) of the Constitution, in order to safeguard the family as “the natural and fundamental element of society.”

While there have been no reports of violence against members of the LGBTI+ community, the US State Department has reported discrimination against members of the LGBTI+ community in relation to securing public housing.6

Sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights

The law reportedly prohibits access to contraceptives for persons under the age of 18, even though the legal age of consent is 15.7 Perhaps as a result, the rate of teenage pregnancy is reported to be high.8


The penal code has provisions against witchcraft practices.9 In October 2023 it was reported that the main opposition leader in the Seychelles, Patrick Herminie, was charged with witchcraft, along with seven others.10 At the time of writing, those charged are set to appear before the Magistrate’s Court.11

Freedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values

In its 2023 World Press Freedom report, Reporters Without Borders indicated that media pluralism has steadily been increasing over the past decade. In addition, the organization reported that self-censorship is reported to be on the decline.12

The government can restrict the broadcast of material considered to be “objectionable.”13

Religious broadcasting

Religious groups may publish newspapers, but may not obtain commercial radio or television licenses. Instead registered religious groups are afforded airtime on national radio and television, and are permitted to broadcast religious services upon request.14

The State broadcasting corporation reportedly broadcasts religious programming for holidays such as Christmas, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, and the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Catholic and Anglican religious services are reportedly broadcast weekly on the radio, while Friday prayers for Muslims are reportedly broadcast on television. The broadcasting corporation reportedly reviews all programming to ensure that hate speech is not broadcast.15


Section 128 of the Penal Code prescribes one year in prison to anyone who “with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any other person, writes any word, or any person who, with the like intention, utters any word or makes any sound in the hearing of any other person or makes any gesture or places any object in the sight of any other person.”

The Penal Code also includes provisions against damaging or defiling objects of religious worship (section 125), disturbing lawful religious assembly (section 126), and trespassing on burial places (section 127).

Humanists International was not able to find evidence that the de facto blasphemy provision has been applied in practice.

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