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The Republic of Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. It lies about 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) east of mainland Africa and northeast of the island of Madagascar. Seychelles was a French colony until 1814, when the British took over. Settlement began in 1778. The Seychelles became independent in 1976. During the 19th century, Chinese and Indian tradesmen, together with former slaves, settled on the island. The islands of Seychelles had no indigenous population, and the Seychellois currently living in the islands are all descendents of migrants. The population of Seychelles is about 88,340 (U.S. Bureau of Census, July 2010). Seychelles does not have any state religion, and the constitution provides for freedom of religion. The government has respected this right ...

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