|% Urban:||68.3 %|
|% Christian:||74 %|
|% Evangelical:||17.8 %|
|% Largest Religion:||74 %|
Thank God for the strength of Christianity in the Pacific Islands. The Pacific was one of the first areas to be evangelized in the modern Protestant missionary era. By the end of the 19th Century, most of the Pacific region had become Christian through the sacrificial labours of early LMS (London Missionary Society), Methodist, Anglican and Pacific Islander missionaries. Missionary casualties were high through disease, violent death and cannibalism, and the gospel arrived alongside Western colonialism, but great people movements brought whole peoples and islands to Christianity. Praise God for the continued legacy of their work, and for continued spiritual life to the churches they planted.
The younger generation in many Pacific Island nations feel disenfranchised and betrayed by their forebears. In these small and remote island nations, they often have little opportunity for meaningful employment or education. Emigration, restlessness, frustration, mischief and even organized crime are the result. In some countries, those under age 25 comprise up to 40% of the population. Pray for viable, God-honouring solutions to these challenges, for the younger generation to find hope and purpose in Christ.
There is a need to revive a vision for evangelical cooperation and mission throughout Oceania. Vast geographical distances and the lack of unity and shared identity – especially between the many Pacific islands and the dominant Australia/New Zealand – are challenges. Yet determination still exists to foster unity and prophetic vision. Formerly it was through such entities as The Evangelical Fellowship of the South Pacific and the Deep Sea Canoe Movement, but today it continues in the South Pacific Evangelical Alliance Region, and the Pacific2Nations missions movement. Pray for rising levels of spiritual leadership and vision from the scattered islands of the vast Pacific.
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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.