Kiribati Gospel Day

Kiribati Gospel Day (National Church Day)

July 10
The Republic of Kiribati is a group of 33 coral islands in the central Pacific Ocean, about 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii. The islands of Kiribati are divided into three groups: the Gilbert Islands, the Phoenix Islands, and the Line Islands. Of the 33 islands, 21 are inhabited. Approximately 90% of the population lives on the Gilbert Islands; only one of the Phoenix Islands (Kanton Island) and three of the Line Islands are permanently inhabited.
European settlers began arriving in Kiribati in the 1800s. In 1892, the Gilbert Islands agreed to become a British protectorate. They became part of a British colony (along with the Ellice Islands and Banaba) in 1916. Over the next 20 years, the Line and Phoenix Islands were incorporated. The republic gained independence from the United Kingdom on July 12, 1979.
Included among the European settlers were missionaries from various denominations. Today, the predominant religions in Kiribati are Roman Catholic (52%) and Protestant (40%). Other religions include Seventh-Day Adventist, Muslim, Baha'i, Latter-day Saints, and Church of God.
On Gospel day, the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches host a celebration that is usually held at the Bairiki National Stadium in the capital, South Tarawa. A combined service is conducted by one of the heads of the two churches. Following the service, the people celebrate in the maneaba (center of the village) with local dances, choir, and religious songs performed by different groups from the two churches.
Kiribati National Tourism Office
Ministry of Communication, Transport & Tourism Development
P.O. Box 487
Betio, Tarawa Republic of Kiribati
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.