Last Updated 10 November 2016

Dominica, a Caribbean island with few natural resources, has a resident population of 70,000, a dependence on its banana industry, is vulnerable to hurricanes and has a limited infrastructure.

Systemic Discrimination
Mostly Satisfactory
Free and Equal

Constitution and government

The constitution declares that “a person shall not be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of conscience, including freedom of thought and of religion.”

Education and children’s rights

Until age 18, young people may be required to receive religious instruction, or attend religious assembly. Private schools can at their own expense provide religious instruction.

Family, community and society

According to a 2001 census 6% of the population have no religious affiliation. Atheists and freethinkers run a number of active blogs and are involved in a Caribbean Atheists Facebook page.

“Although Dominica contains some fanatics, there is not the same mob mentality towards punishing people who think differently, and, in fact, there is an appreciation in this island for thinkers, for literate readers, that is almost nonexistent in the States by comparison, and I think it is because most Dominicans have not become as bitter, ironic, and absurdist as so many young Americans I’ve seen seem to have.”

— Jonathan Bellot, A Skeptic in the Caribbean, 2012

Christianity is the dominant religion with some 60% of the population said to be Roman Catholic. Christian prayer takes place during morning assembly in public schools, although non-Christian students are not required to participate. The government subsidizes teacher salaries at schools affiliated with the Catholic, Methodist, and Seventh-day Adventist churches.

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