Showing posts with label religion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label religion. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Gambia Changes Its Name Back

Map of the Gambia: towns, roads, borders, and rivers, with scale shown.
Map by Evan Centanni. Contact for usage rights.

Gambia Name Change Reversal

Last year we reported on how the Gambia, a tiny country located along the banks of a river in West Africa, had changed its official name at the UN. The country's maverick dictator had decided in 2015 to switch from "Republic of The Gambia" to "Islamic Republic of The Gambia".

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Gambia's Name Change

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US government map of the Gambia (source)
The Gambia Changes Official Name
If you read our review of world political geography changes in 2015, you might remember a brief note on the official name of the Gambia, a tiny country located along the banks of a river in West Africa. Last December, the Gambia's maverick dictator decided to declare the country an "Islamic republic", a designation that can have various meanings and is used by four other countries in the world.

At the time, at least one regional news source claimed that the country's official name had indeed been changed from "Republic of The Gambia" to "Islamic Republic of The Gambia". But for a country's name to be formally changed, its government normally has to pass a law or at least issue some kind of proclamation, and at the time it wasn't clear whether that had actually  happened.

Friday, March 15, 2013

What is Vatican City?

This week, the Catholic Church chose a new leader, Pope Francis. The selection and announcement of the new pope took place in Vatican City, the Church's sovereign territory within Rome. Is Vatican City really "the world's smallest country", or a country at all?  And what's the difference between Vatican City and the Holy See? Read all about it!

Large scale (close-up) map of Vatican City
Map of Vatican City (click to enlarge). By Francesco Piraneo G./Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SAsource).
What is Vatican City?

Vatican City was created by the Lateran Treaty in 1929 to ensure the Catholic Church's independence from the control of other countries, and has an area of only about 0.17 sq mi (0.44 sq km), or about one-eighth the size of Central Park in New York. In addition to the Pope, the state said to have a population of about 800, most of whom are either clergy or members of the Swiss Guard.

Located within the city of Rome, Vatican City is surrounded on all sides by Italy, and nearly encircled by a stone city wall except for in St. Peter's Square, where it is separated from Italy only by a white line drawn on the ground. Various religious and administrative buildings are located within Vatican City's confines, but more than half of its area is taken up by the green space of the Vatican Gardens.