Nauru is a republic and with a population of 10,000 is the smallest republic in the world.

Religiously, the population is predominantly Christian, with major denominations including the Nauru Congregational Church, Roman Catholicism, Assemblies of God. Around 10% of the country is identified as Nauruan indigenous religion. Around 7% of the population are either nonreligious or have not specified their beliefs.

Nauruan indigenous religion was the predominant religion in Nauru before the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when foreign missionaries introduced Christianity to the island.

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Constitution and government

The Constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as freedom of opinion and expression. These rights are generally respected in practice.

There is no state religion. The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom.

Education and children’s rights

There were no reports of suppression of academic freedom (as of 2014).

Family, community and society

Societal pressures limit women’s ability to exercise their legal rights. In 2014, Jane Elizabeth Hamilton-White, a former barrister in Australia, became the first woman to sit on the Nauruan Supreme Court. <>

Freedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values

Freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are guaranteed by the constitution and respected in practice. The government does not restrict or censor the news media.

There were civil liberties concerns in 2015 around government attempts to limit freedom of expression among foreign journalists and opposition figures.

Under the law, religious groups must register with the government to operate in an official capacity, which includes proselytizing, building houses of worship, holding religious services, officiating marriages, and otherwise practicing their religion. The Catholic Church, the Nauru Congregational Church (which includes the Kiribati Protestant Church), the Assemblies of God, and the Nauru Independent Church are officially registered. We have not recorded whether the same registration criteria apply for non-religious groups or whether a non-religious groups would be successful.

There are no indications of widespread societal discrimination against particular religious denominations. Some religious groups, in particular The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been perceived as “foreign”. Some resistance by the Nauru Protestant Church to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Jehovah’s Witnesses has emerged as some Christians fear that proselytisation by these groups would create tensions. While previously their members were often denied entry visas, in recent years the government lifted all restrictions on the practice of missionary work. Also, members of these Churches are now allowed to hold religious services in their company-owned housing.