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U.S. Says Rastas Face Discrimination In St. Kitts and Nevis

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The U.S. State Department on Tuesday said Rastafarians in some Caribbean countries are still facing varied forms of discrimination.

The latest ‘International Religious Freedom Report for 2017,’ the US government said that Rastafarians claim they continue to face various forms of social discrimination in St. Kitts and Nevis.

In St. Kitts & Nevis, police harassment of Rastafarians and the mandatory cutting of dreadlocks while in prison continued while others said they continued to face societal discrimination, including when seeking employment.

Rastafarians also reported that they still faced discrimination in Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica.

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The report also said societal attitudes regarding Rastafarianism continued to become more positive with those in Dominica even reporting that the number of police stops and searches of Rastafarians had declined.

The annual report to Congress on International Religious Freedom describes the status of religious freedoms in every country globally. It covers government policies violating religious beliefs and practices of groups, religious denominations and individuals and U.S. policies to promote religious freedom around the world.

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