Religious Beliefs. Nauruans had their own traditional cosmology with beliefs in spirits and gods such as Tabuarik, who was represented in a stone now removed by mining activities. Family ancestors were honored with food offerings on an altar outside each family homestead. The centenary of the landing of the first London Missionary Society representatives was celebrated in 1987, and today most Nauruans are members of either the Nauruan Congregational church (60 percent) or the Roman Catholic church (33 percent). A breakaway Protestant church was formed in 1977 under the American Pentecostal church, but it has not drawn many adherents from the two established churches.
Religious Practitioners. Five Nauruans are ordained as pastors of the Congregational church, the younger ones having trained at Pacific Theological College in Fiji. The Catholic priest is appointed from Rome.
Ceremonies. Independence Day is celebrated on January 31; and "Amram Day" is observed in October to recognize the important day in 1933 when a Mrs. Amram gave birth to the 1,500th Nauruan. In addition, church feasts, marriages, and deaths are celebrated. Most festivities are marked with elaborate food sharing.
Arts. Weaving and other traditional arts are no longer practiced due to the lack of materials.
Medicine. Two hospitals serve the needs of Nauruans and other residents, but if other services are required patients are transported to Australia. Filariasis, leprosy, and tuberculosis are under control, but Nauruans have been noted as having a high incidence of diabetes and glucose intolerance.
Death and Afterlife. Funerals are conducted according to the faith of the deceased. A Nauruan is buried in the cemetery of the district to which he or she belonged. Such funerals are marked by feasts.