Patheos Watermark

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Population (2009 est.)112,850
Religious DemographicsRoman Catholic 52%, Protestant (Congregational) 40%, other (includes Seventh-Day Adventist, Muslim, Baha'i, Mormon, Church of God) 8% (1999)
Ethnic GroupsMicronesian 98.8%, other 1.2% (2000 census)
LanguagesI-Kiribati, English (official)

The country is an archipelago with an area of 265 square miles and a population of 92,500. Missionaries introduced Christianity into the area in the mid-19th century. According to 2005 government statistics, major religious groups include the Roman Catholic Church, 55 percent; Kiribati Protestant Church, 36 percent; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), 3 percent; the Baha'i Faith, 2 percent; and Seventh-day Adventists, 2 percent. Several groups claim to have higher numbers of adherents, but there is no independent confirmation. Persons with no religious affiliation account for less than 1 percent of the population. Members of the Catholic Church are concentrated in the northern islands, while Protestants are the majority in the southern islands.