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Religion in Kiribati

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Title: Religion in Kiribati  
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Religion in Kiribati





Religion in Haiti (2015)[1]

  Roman Catholic (56%)
  Mormon (5%)
  Bahá'í (2.3%)
  Adventist (2%)

According to 2012 government statistics, Christian groups form about 96% of the Kiribati population by census counts. Kiribati's Christian population goes as followed: 56 percent are members of the Roman Catholic Church, 34 percent are members of the Kiribati Uniting Church, five percent are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), and two percent are members of the Seventh-day Adventists.[2] Several of the smaller Christian churches claim to have higher numbers of adherents, but there is no independent confirmation.[3] Persons with no religious affiliation account for less than one percent of the population.[2] Members of the Catholic Church are concentrated in the northern islands, while Protestants are the majority in the southern islands.[3]

Missionaries introduced Christianity into the area in the mid-19th century.[3] Missionaries continue to be present and operate freely.[3] The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the government generally respects this right.[3] Societal abuses or discrimination based on religious belief or practice occur, but are relatively infrequent.[3]

Bahá'í Faith

The only substantial non-Christian population is of the Bahá'í Faith. The Bahá'í Faith in Kiribati begins after 1916 with a mention by `Abdu'l-Bahá, then head of the religion, that Bahá'ís should take the religion to the Gilbert Islands which form part of modern Kiribati.[4] The first Bahá'ís pioneered to the island of Abaiang(aka Charlotte Island, of the Gilbert Islands), on March 4, 1954.[5] They encountered serious opposition from some Catholics on the islands and were eventually deported and the first convert banished to his home island.[6] However, in one year there was a community of more than 200 Bahá'ís[7] and a Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assembly.[8] Three years later the island where the first convert was sent to was found to now have 10 Bahá'ís. By 1963 there were 14 assemblies.[9]

As the Ellice Islands gained independence as Tuvalu and the Gilbert Islands and others formed Kiribati, the communities of Bahá'ís also reformed into separate institutions of National Spiritual Assemblies in 1981.[10] The Bahá'ís had established a number schools by 1963[9] and there are still such today - indeed the Ootan Marawa Bahá'í Vocational Institute being the only teacher training institution for pre-school teachers in Kiribati.[5] The census figures are consistently between 2 and 3% for the Bahá'ís while the Bahá'ís claim numbers above 17%.[6] All together the Bahá'ís now claim more than 10,000 local people have joined the religion over the last 50 years and there are 38 local spiritual assemblies.[5]

References

  1. ^ CIA - The World Factbook -- Haiti
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b c d e f International Religious Freedom Report 2007: Kiribati. United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (September 14, 2007). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^
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