|Federated States of Micronesia|
The former US-administered UN Trust Territory is retained here as a single entity because of the small populations and commonalities between the four constituent States.
Area 1,950 sq.km. The 2,000 islands of the Caroline, Marshall and Mariana archipelagos lie in seven million sq.km. of the North Pacific. Only 100 are inhabited.
For centuries, a strategic global pawn. Ruled by Spain 1710-1897, Germany 1897-1914, and Japan 1914-1945 before the USA took over the administration as a UN Trust Territory. Four republics in free association with the USA have emerged since 1978.
During Spanish rule, all islanders were forcibly Catholicized, but the underlying pre-Christian customs and animistic religion remain influential. In each republic there is, theoretically, freedom of religion, but some islands show hostility to variant newer denominations and religions.
Area 702 sq.km. Over 600 coralline islands in four main groups: Chuuk, Pohnpei, Yap and Kosrae.
Chuuk 50.5%; Pohnpei 32%; Yap 10.5%; Kosrae 7% of population.
Capital Palikir 8,000. Urbanites 26%.
Micronesian 91.3%. Chuuk (5 dialects) 52,000; Pohnpeian(4) 29,000; Kosraean 8,000; Yapese 6,000; Mortlockese 5,500; Carolinian 5,000; Ulithian 4,000; Woleaian 2,000.
Polynesian 2%. Kapingamarangian 1,600; Nukuoro 1,000 on two atolls south of Chuuk.
Other 6.7%. Japanese 3,500; Chinese 2,000; Filipino 1,000.
Literacy 94%. Official language English. All languages 17. Languages with Scriptures 3Bi 4NT 1w.i.p.
Predominantly subsistence farming and fishing. Over 90% of government income is from US aid. Public debt 56% of GNP. Income/person $2,040 (6% of USA).
A federal republic with four constituent states. Independence in 1991, but in free association with the USA; the latter administering defence and foreign policy.
Separation of church and state, with religious freedom. Yap is predominantly Catholic; Pohnpei, Chuuk and Kosrae predominantly Protestant.
1 Christianity is often a veneer over an animistic worldview. Magic is widely used and this, with Western consumerism encouraged by US aid, deadens initiative and spiritual fervour. Pray for a revelation of the power and love of Jesus to these island peoples.
3 Bible translation and distribution. The lack of Scriptures in Carolinian, Kapingamarani and the smaller languages, lack of the Old Testament in all but the Chuuk language, and the limited reading of the Bible and misunderstanding of its contents hold back the spiritual development of the largely Christian population, and lay them open for Western cults. Pray for the Scriptures to dynamically impact the population.
Area 181 sq.km. There are 34 atolls with 1,156 islands, spread over nearly 2 million sq.km of Pacific.
High density on Majuro many islands are sparsely inhabited.
Capital Dalap-Uliga-Darrit (on Majuro) 30,000. Urbanites 65%.
Micronesian 96%. Marshallese (two dialects).
Other 4%. Pacific Islanders 1,100; US Citizens 600; Filipinos 400.
Literacy 93%. Official languages Marshallese and English. All languages 2. Languages with Scriptures 2Bi.
US aid is 70% of GNP, causing a dependency culture which inhibits initiative to develop potential for agriculture, fisheries and tourism. Foreign fleets plunder the fish stocks. Unemployment is high. Almost all food is imported. Public debt 145% of GNP. Income/person $1,600 (6% of USA).
An independent republic since 1986 in free association with the USA.
Freedom of religion; the churches run an extensive schooling system.
Missionaries from Marshall Islands
1 The traumatic history of occupation, exploitation, war and the impact of US nuclear bomb testing has had a devastating effect on the Marshallese. Traditional society and culture has broken down, with attendant problems of sexual promiscuity, drugs, drunkenness, suicides and a very high birth rate. The people are confused, uprooted and insecure and many suffer the effects of nuclear radiation with genetic disorders and high rates of cancer. Pray for wise, visionary leadership for the nation that will break the spirit of dependency, and make the country economically viable.
2 The great majority of Marshallese are Protestant and nearly one third Evangelical. The churches have a big involvement at every level in society, but without adequately impacting the life, world-view and spirituality of the people. The United Church of Christ has become the de facto State Church and is losing out in numbers and spirituality. The Assemblies of God have had a big influence winning many to Christ in earlier decades. Pray for a life- and culture-changing revival.
3 The need for godly leadership in the churches is great. The United Church has a small theological college and the AoG run the Calvary Bible Institute. Pray for the spiritual depth and vitality of these institutions.
Area 477 sq.km. A chain of 14 volcanic and coralline islands 650 km north of Guam. The southernmost islands, Saipan, Tinian and Rota, are the largest and most important economically.
There are over 28,000 legal migrant workers and their families in the country at any one time. There are also many illegals.
Capital Saipan 48,000. Urbanites 65%.
Pacific Islanders 32%. Chamorro 18,000; Carolinian 3,000; Other Micronesian 5,000. The Chamorro are also indigenous to nearby Guam.
Asians 64%. Mostly on contract, few long-term, many illegal immigrants. Filipino 35,000; Chinese 6,000; Korean 5,000; Japanese 1,600.
Other 4%. US mainlanders.
Literacy 96% (indigenous). Official language English. Chamorro widely spoken, also some Carolinian. All languages 3. Languages with Scriptures 1Bi 1por.
Tourism, especially from Japan, and US aid are the main sources of national income. More prosperous than the other three Micronesian States. Income/person $9,700 (34% of USA) including migrant labour.
A Commonwealth Territory of the USA since 1977. The population was granted US citizenship in 1990.
Freedom of religion. Almost the entire indigenous population was baptized in the Catholic Church.
Missionaries from Northern Marianas
1 The indigenous Chamorro would claim to be Catholic, but the majority are non-churchgoers and animism and folk religion predominate. Pray that the light of the gospel may shine on this people. Evangelical outreach is only recent. Pray for the ministry of the Baptist and Assemblies of God churches and of the World Outreach and YWAM teams.
2 The Asian population is diverse. In 1991 there were seven thriving Korean congregations, three Chinese and several Filipino all with vigorous outreach to their compatriots. However, many of the Asians are culturally isolated and unreached especially the Japanese and Chinese (both from Mainland China and Taiwan). Many of the Filipinos are involved in the tourist industry; prostitution is a problem.
b) Radio. FEBC has two broadcast services internationally on short wave to Russia, Central Asia, China, India and South East Asia (115 hrs/wk), and a local service to the islands in five languages. Pray for deep and lasting impact. Pray for the spiritual and physical protection of both workers and valuable facilities. Saipan is in an area prone to typhoons.
Area 488 sq.km. Sixteen inhabited volcanic and coralline islands.
Capital Koror 12,300. Urbanites 60%.
Micronesian 80%. Three languages: Palavan 15,000; Sonsorol 600.
Other 20%. Filipino 3,000; Chinese 600; Japanese, US Mainlander, Korean.
Literacy 98%. Official language Palauan; English used widely. All languages 4. Languages with Scriptures 1Bi 1NT.
Subsistence agriculture, fishing and some tourism. The government is the main employer and relies heavily on US aid.
The compact of free association with the USA, signed in 1982, was only implemented after repeated and violently contested referenda had failed to ratify the new constitution.
1 Christianity is generally professed, but nominalism is widespread; the most ardent Catholics being the Filipinos. Many older people are followers of the Modekngei movement, a religion unique to Palau which is a mixture of Christianity and magic. The old animistic religion is also regaining influence. Yet there are beginnings of spiritual awakening. Pray for the revival of the Evangelical church the fruit of the work of the Liebenzell Mission. The AoG have a small but growing work.
2 Hindrances to the gospel need to be removed. Closed cultures and strong traditionalism make many villages and outlying islands unwilling for change. The debilitating effects of US aid, material comforts and enormous consumption of beer make discipleship and commitment rare. The whole Bible is not yet available in Palauan, so theological depth is lacking. Outreach to smaller unevangelized island communities is complicated by their geographic isolation.
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