SPIRITUALITY
There is no official religion in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but Christianity is an important part of most people's lives. The majority of islanders are Protestant and nearly half are members of the Anglican Church. Others are Methodist, Seventh-Day Adventist or Spiritual Baptist. A small number, primarily on the island of Mayreau, are Roman Catholic.

The form of worship is related to the islands' oral culture and appreciation for effective public speaking. Most people know Bible stories in detail, and this expertise is valued. Children learn these stories at church schools. Church services often include personal testimonies of conversion. Congregations also excel at singing hymns and gospel music.

Despite the strong presence of Christianity on the islands, many people retain beliefs based on African or Amerindian traditions, which emphasize the importance of ghosts, spells, dreams and the supernatural. In isolated areas, some islanders still perform traditional rituals to ward off night spirits or jumbies. Windows and doors are firmly shut at night to keep the spirits out. Red ribbons are tied around the necks of sheep and cattle to ward off evil spirits.

Ancient forms of spirituality are portrayed in petroglyphs (sacred rock carvings), which are preserved throughout the islands. One of St. Vincent's most famous petroglyphs is at Layou. It is a single stone more than six metres long, incised with the image of the Ciboney god Yocahu, who was believed to have brought cassava to his hungry people. There is also evidence of other religions on the islands. Symbols of the Hindu gods Siva and Parvati have been carved by unknown artists on the walls of caves in the Buccament Valley. Carbon dating has revealed that a stone bearing Celtic writing was inscribed in about 800 B.C.

About 5% of the population is descended from the East Asians who came to St. Vincent as indentured labourers in the 19th century. These people maintain their Hindu or Muslim faith.

   Did you know?
St. George's Anglican Cathedral in Kingstown contains a stained glass window called the Red Angel. The window was originally commissioned by Queen Victoria for St. Paul's Cathedral in London, but was rejected because the angel was portrayed in a red garment. The Queen thought that angels wear only white.