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

A secular state, the Constitution also enshrines the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association. Preferential treatment is afforded to religious groups.

De facto ‘blasphemy’ law

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.