News Release

Church Hosts Tuvaluan Prime Minister During His Visit to Kiribati

The Prime Minister of Tuvalu, His Excellency Enele Sopoanga, was hosted by the Kirivalu Community and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kiribati recently.

"Kirivalu" is a community of Tuvaluans in Kiribati plus I-Kiribati who have married Tuvaluans.  

Around half of the community are Latter-day Saints.  

The Prime Minister was received in a traditional Tuvaluan way which included the presentation of garlands followed with a feast and the “fatele” (Tuvaluan traditional dances). 

Prime Minister Sopoanga was visiting Kiribati for a meetings with other leaders on the subject of climate change.

Several I-Kiribati and Kirivalu Latter-day Saints met the Tuvaluan prime minister. Mr Iotua Tune was was one of them.

"My wife and I had the opportunity of meeting the Prime Minister and his wife following the function.  We thanked them for coming to Kiribati and especially the opportunity of hosting them in one of our church facilities," he said.

"The Prime Minister expressed appreciation to the Church and its members for their warm welcome and hospitality. He admired the cleanliness and the special spirit that existed in the place."

The 8 October function was attended by more than 300 people. Among those who came were prominent members of the Catholic Church and the Kiribati Uniting Church who are also members of the Kirivalu Community.

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