About country profiles

The country profiles are intended to provide some background and context for the descriptions of the churches. These profiles should be read in conjunction with those of the churches in the country.

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Surface area:730 km2
GNI per capita:970 US$
Classification:Developing economy




Christian: 94.00%

Baha'i: 5.00%


Catholics: 48908

Protestants: 39330

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Kiribati is an island nation in the middle of the Pacific, made up of three groups of small islands on both sides of the equator and the international date line. The main group, the former Gilbert Islands, was inhabited by a Micronesian population when it became a British protectorate in 1892, together with the Ellice Islands. In 1915 the protectorate became a colony. Kiribati became fully independent in 1979, after the Ellice Islands had opted for their own independence in 1978 (see Tuvalu). The Gilbert Islands had phosphate deposits, which were however exhausted at the time of independence. The main economic activities are tourism, copra and fishing. Development is hampered by isolation, lack of skills and weak infrastructures. Christianity came to these islands in the 19th century. Besides the Catholic Church and the Kiribati Protestant Church, there are some smaller Pentecostal and other groups. The Kiribati National Council of Churches is the main body bringing the churches together.


Ecumenical Organizations and Councils

WCC member churches based in Kiribati

WCC member churches present in Kiribati

    Note: The list of churches present in countries is still in development.

    Last updated: 01/01/06