Facts and Statistics

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    Kiribati

    20,946

    Total Church Membership

    18.08% 1-in-6

    Population vs. Church Members

    2

    Stakes

    37

    Congregations

    11 Wards
    26 Branches

    2

    Family History Centers

    2

    History

    Made up of 36 Micronesian islands in the mid-Pacific where the equator and international dateline meet, Kiribati is a republic which became independent in 1979. The island's population speaks Gilbertese and English. About half of the population is Protestant and half Roman Catholic.

    The Church was introduced to Kiribati when Waitea Abiuta, a school teacher and headmaster of a school, asked to have graduates from his school attend Liahona High School in Tonga. Fijian mission president Eb L. Davis visited Kiribati in September 1972 and approved 12 students to come to the Church school. Students were converted at the high school and they began serving as missionaries in Kiribati on 19 October 1975.

    Among those who joined the Church were Waitea Abiuta and several of the staff and students of the school. However, when opposition to the Church arose, enrollment at the school declined. In August 1976, Grant and Pat Howlett, Church educators at Liahona High, were called to teach at the Kiribati school. Through their efforts, enrollment increased and government relations improved. Later, the Church purchased the school, renamed it Moroni Community School, and other teachers arrived from Tonga as enrollment continued to increase.

    In 1982, a new Church building was completed, and Buren Ratieta, Gilbertese branch (a small congregation) president, held services in February of that year. Among the 250 who attended the dedicatory services was the president of the Kiribati Republic, Ieremia T. Tabai. He said government leaders at first feared the Church would divide the people, but when he saw the great social contribution the Church made, he became happy to cooperate with the Church. Since that time, missionary work has expanded to more distant islands in Kiribati.

    In the fall of 1993, a group of first-time basketball players from Moroni High School, the age of United States high school sophomores and juniors, won the championship of Kiribati in their division. They also defeated the 20-30-year-olds division champions. In 1994, Teatao Teanaki, president of the Republic, was the main speaker at the graduation ceremony at Moroni High School.

    On 11 August 1996, Elder L. Tom Perry created the Tarawa Kiribati Stake (diocese), the first stake in the country.

    For Journalist Use Only

    Richard Hunter
    New Zealand
    Phone:  64(9)488-5572
    Mobile: 64-21-240-7804

    E-mail: Hunterra@ldschurch.org

    Africa

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    666,508

    Members

    2,327

    Congregations

    Missions

    35Missions

    Family History Centers

    343

    Temples

    4Temples

    Asia

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    1,230,515

    Members

    2,130

    Congregations

    Missions

    44Missions

    Family History Centers

    354

    Temples

    8Temples

    Europe

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    497,436

    Members

    1,374

    Congregations

    Missions

    34Missions

    Family History Centers

    654

    Temples

    14Temples

    North America

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    9,419,307

    Members

    18,256

    Congregations

    Missions

    173Missions

    Family History Centers

    2,543

    Temples

    110Temples

    Oceania (Pacific)

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    572,895

    Members

    1,283

    Congregations

    Missions

    17Missions

    Family History Centers

    304

    Temples

    10Temples

    South America

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    4,178,375

    Members

    5,570

    Congregations

    Missions

    95Missions

    Family History Centers

    1,000

    Temples

    21Temples