26 Sep 2016

Kiribati church split over name change

9:19 am on 26 September 2016

The second largest Christian denomination in Kiribati is in crisis over a name change.

Reports say the Protestant church leadership is struggling to contain protests and splits.

Members of the congregation, in a general assembly last week, voted to approve a new name, the Kiribati Uniting Church, despite earlier protests.

But several islands have now boycotted the new name.

The Kiribati Independent reports they have started their own church under its old name, Kiribati Protestant Church, and claim thousands of followers.

Members of this new faction have elected a new executive body which is working on a budget.

Throughout the country, there are reports of unease and disappointment over the lack of action by the church to deal with the crisis.

The disgruntled members have told Kiribati Independent they opposed the change because they were not consulted about it.