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Comoros Church Records

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For information about records for non-Christian religions in Comoros, go to the Religious Records page.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Sunni Islam is the dominant religion, representing as much as 99% of the population.A minority of the population of the Comoros, mostly immigrants from metropolitan France, are Roman Catholic.Comoros is the only Muslim-majority country in Southern Africa and the second southernmost Muslim-majority territory after the French territory of Mayotte.[1][2]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Different denominations, different time periods, and practices of different record keepers will effect how much information can be found in the records. This outline will show the types of details which might be found (best case scenario):

Baptisms[edit | edit source]

In Catholic and Anglican records, children were usually baptized a few days after birth, and therefore, the baptism record proves date of birth. Other religions, such as Baptists, baptized at other points in the member's life. Baptism registers might give:

  • baptism date
  • the infant's name
  • parents' names
  • father's occupation
  • status of legitimacy
  • occasionally, names of grandparents
  • names of witnesses or godparents, who may be relatives
  • birth date and place
  • the family's place of residence
  • death information, as an added note or signified by a cross

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Marriage registers can give:

  • the marriage date
  • the names of the bride and groom
  • indicate whether the bride and groom were single or widowed
  • their ages
  • birth dates and places for the bride and groom
  • their residences
  • their occupations
  • birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • parents' names (after 1800)
  • the names of previous spouses and their death dates
  • names of witnesses, who might be relatives.

Burials[edit | edit source]

Burial registers may give:

  • the name of the deceased
  • the date and place of death or burial
  • the deceased's age
  • place of residence
  • cause of death
  • the names of survivors, especially a widow or widower
  • deceased's birth date and place
  • parents' names, or at least the father's name



How to Find Records[edit | edit source]

Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Watch for digitized copies of church records to be added to the collection of the FamilySearch Library. Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. To find records:

a. Click on the records of Comoros.
b. Click on Places within Comoros and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

You will probably need to write to or email the national archives, the diocese, or local parish priests to find records. See French Letter Writing Guide for help with composing letters.

Catholic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing to a Local Parish[edit | edit source]

Write or e-mail:
Église catholique de Sainte Thérèse de l'Enfant Jésus
Moroni, Comoros

Telephone: 00 269 73 05 70
Fax: 00 269 73 05 03
E-mail : mcatholique@snpt.km

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

There are very few Catholics in this overwhelmingly Islamic country - around 4,300 in total representing about 0.5% of the total population. No dioceses have been established, but the whole of the country forms the Apostolic Vicariate of the Archipelago of the Comores. The St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Church (French: Église de Sainte Thérèse de l’Enfant Jésus) is a religious building affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and located in the city of Moroni, the capital of the archipelago and nation of Comoros in the Indian Ocean. It is the main church in the Islamic majority island group. The other two Catholic churches are in neighboring Mayotte, which is part of the same archipelago but is an overseas department of France.[3][4]
The Catholic Mission was established in Comoros in the 1930s by the Capuchins. Coming from Madagascar, they visited Grande Comore and Mayotte once or twice a year. Previously, the Jesuits provided this service, still from Madagascar. It was the Capuchins who bought the land to build the church and the cure. They also established the mission in Mayotte and Anjouan. In 1975, the Holy See established the Apostolic Administration in Moroni dependent on the diocese of Ambanja (Madagascar). The Capuchins officially terminated the contract in 1985, but the Holy See asked them to continue providing the service. The priests of the Foreign Missions of Paris served Moroni from 1985 to 1991. Then the Capuchins took over while waiting to find a congregation that wanted to take charge of the Apostolic Administration.mIn 1995, the Capuchins permanently left the Comoros and the Foreign Missions took over the interim until 1997. Since then, the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians) has agreed to maintain the presence of the Catholic Church in the Comoros.[5]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Comoros", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comoros, accessed 22 March 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Religion in Comoros", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Comoros, accessed 22 March 2020.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Church, Moroni", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Theresa_of_the_Child_Jesus_Church,_Moroni, accessed 22 March 2020.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Catholic Church in the Comoros", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_in_the -Comoros, accessed 22 March 2020.
  5. "The Catholic Mission", Église de Sainte Thérèse de l’Enfant Jésus Website, http://www.comores-online.com/caritas/page3.html, accessed 22 March 2020.