Micronesia
Federated States of Micronesia
August 13
Pacific


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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.

GEOGRAPHY

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.

POLITICS

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.

RELIGION

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.

Federated States of Micronesia

GEOGRAPHY

Area 702 sq.km. Over 600 coralline islands in four main groups: Chuuk, Pohnpei, Yap and Kosrae.

Population Ann.Gr. Density
2000 118,689 +2.05% 169 per sq. km.
2010 144,265 +1.94% 206 per sq. km.
2025 189,609 +1.79% 270 per sq. km.

Chuuk 50.5%; Pohnpei 32%; Yap 10.5%; Kosrae 7% of population.

Capital Palikir 8,000. Urbanites 26%.

PEOPLES

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.

ECONOMY

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).

POLITICS

A federal republic with four constituent states. Independence in 1991, but in free association with the USA; the latter administering defence and foreign policy.

RELIGION

Separation of church and state, with religious freedom. Yap is predominantly Catholic; Pohnpei, Chuuk and Kosrae predominantly Protestant.

Religions Population % Adherents Ann.Gr.
Christian 93.80 111,330 +1.9%
Traditional ethnic 3.00 3,561 +5.8%
Baha'i 1.60 1,899 +4.8%
non-Religious/other 0.90 1,068 +4.5%
Chinese/Buddhist 0.70 831 -5.0%

Christians Denom. Affil.% ,000 Ann.Gr.
Protestant 11 44.75 53 +0.0%
Independent 3 0.39 0 +3.9%
Catholic 1 48.02 57 +2.7%
Marginal 2 3.37 4 +0.6%
Unaffiliated   4.18 5 n.a.
Doubly affiliated   -6.91 -8 n.a.

Churches MegaBloc Cong. Members Affiliates
Catholic C 30 33,140 57,000
Liebenzell P 154 9,250 18,500
United Ch of Pohnpei P 21 6,364 14,000
Prot Ch of Chuuk P 22 6,500 13,000
Latter-day Saints (Morm) M 29 1,737 2,900
Jehovah's Witnesses M 6 172 1,100
Assemblies of God P 5 400 700
Church of the Nazarene P 3 250 550
Other denoms [9]   31 3,600 6,820
Doubly affiliated     -4,000 -8,200
Total Christians [17]   300 57,000 106,000

Trans-bloc Groupings pop.% ,000 Ann.Gr.
Evangelical 21.5 25 +0.9%
Charismatic 5.7 7 +2.9%
  Pentecostal 1.4 2 +4.6%

Missionaries from F.S.M.
P,I,A 10 in 5 agencies – 5 in other countries.

Missionaries to F.S.M.
P,I,A 54 in 14 agencies from 6 countries: USA 40, Germany 8. C 20.

Challenges for Prayer

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.

2 A large proportion of the population is Protestant – the result of a century of ministry by US Congregationals and the German Liebenzell Mission, but nominalism is widespread. Pray for revival.

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.

Marshall Islands ( Republic of the Marshall Islands )

GEOGRAPHY

Area 181 sq.km. There are 34 atolls with 1,156 islands, spread over nearly 2 million sq.km of Pacific.

Population Ann.Gr. Density
2000 64,220 +3.26% 355 per sq. km.
2010 86,434 +2.93% 478 per sq. km.
2025 127,147 +2.44% 702 per sq. km.

High density on Majuro – many islands are sparsely inhabited.

Capital Dalap-Uliga-Darrit (on Majuro) 30,000. Urbanites 65%.

PEOPLES

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.

ECONOMY

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).

POLITICS

An independent republic since 1986 in free association with the USA.

RELIGION

Freedom of religion; the churches run an extensive schooling system.

Religions Population % Adherents Ann.Gr.
Christian 95.20 61,137 +3.0%
Non-Religious/other 2.00 1,284 +31.4%
Baha'i 1.80 1,156 +4.4%
Traditional ethnic 1.00 642 -4.8%

Christians Denom. Affil.% ,000 Ann.Gr.
Protestant 5 78.64 50 +5.1%
Independent 4 7.94 5 +1.2%
Catholic 1 6.07 4 -0.5%
Marginal 2 6.38 4 +2.8%
Unaffiliated   5.51 4 n.a.
Doubly affiliated   -6.07 -6 n.a.

Churches MegaBloc Cong. Members Affiliates
United Church of Christ P 88 7,200 24,000
Assemblies of God P 72 4,000 22,000
Reformed Cong I 18 1,100 4,100
Catholic C 10 2,267 3,900
Latter-day Saints (Morm) M 17 1,856 3,100
Jehovah's Witnesses M 4 205 1,000
Other denoms [6]   18 2,191 5,500
Doubly affiliated     -3,000 -6,000
Total Christians [12]   227 15,800 57,600

Trans-bloc Groupings pop. % ,000 Ann.Gr.
Evangelical 42.8 27 +7.3%
Charismatic 38.6 25 +8.3%
  Pentecostal 38.0 24 +8.7%

Missionaries from Marshall Islands
n.a.

Missionaries to Marshall Islands
P,I,A 17 in 4 agencies: USA 15. C 42.

Challenges for Prayer

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.

Northern Marianas ( Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands )

GEOGRAPHY

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.

Population Ann.Gr. Density
2000 78,356 +5.89% 164 per sq. km.
2010 131,073 +5.08% 275 per sq. km.
2025 245,191 +3.86% 514 per sq. km.

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%.

PEOPLES

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.

ECONOMY

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.

POLITICS

A Commonwealth Territory of the USA since 1977. The population was granted US citizenship in 1990.

RELIGION

Freedom of religion. Almost the entire indigenous population was baptized in the Catholic Church.

Religions Population % Adherents Ann.Gr.
Christian 90.50 70,912 +5.6%
Chinese/Buddhist 7.10 5,563 +7.8%
non-Religious/other 2.00 1,567 +12.2%
Baha'i 0.40 313 +8.7%

Christians Denom. Affil.% ,000 Ann.Gr.
Protestant 12 13.30 10 +3.6%
Independent 2 1.79 1 +2.1%
Catholic 1 79.13 62 +6.2%
Marginal 2 1.28 1 +6.0%
Unaffiliated   2.03 1 n.a.
Doubly affiliated   -7.02 -6 n.a.

Churches MegaBloc Cong. Members Affiliates
Catholic C 11 34,444 62,000
Filipino Baptist P 2 1,300 2,200
UnitedChurch of Christ P 10 1,200 2,200
Korean P 7 1,200 2,000
Assemblies of God P 5 400 1,260
Iglesia ni Kristo I 1 600 950
General Baptist P 5 300 666
Jehovah's Witnesses M 4 205 600
Seventh-day Adventist P 1 123 400
Other denoms [8]   15 1,370 2,548
Doubly affiliated     -2,750 -5,500
Total Christians [17]   61 38,000 69,000

Trans-bloc Groupings pop. % ,000 Ann.Gr.
Evangelical 10.4 8 +4.8%
Charismatic 7.4 6 +6.5%
  Pentecostal 1.6 1 +9.5%

Missionaries from Northern Marianas
n.a.

Missionaries to Northern Marianas
P,I,A 92 in 16 agencies from 10 countries: Korea 23, USA 15. C 34. M 25.

Challenges for Prayer

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.

3 Over one million Japanese tourists visit the islands annually – many specifically to worship at Shinto and Buddhist shrines. Pray that they may be reached.

4 Christian media ministries for prayer:

a) Bible translation. Pray for the completion of the Chamorro NT and for translation to commence in the two Carolinian languages.

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.

Palau ( Republic of Palau ( Belau ) )

GEOGRAPHY

Area 488 sq.km. Sixteen inhabited volcanic and coralline islands.

Population Ann.Gr. Density
2000 19,426 +2.43% 40 per sq. km.
2010 24,391 +2.26% 50 per sq. km.
2025 33,228 +2.00% 68 per sq. km.

Capital Koror 12,300. Urbanites 60%.

PEOPLES

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.

ECONOMY

Subsistence agriculture, fishing and some tourism. The government is the main employer and relies heavily on US aid.

POLITICS

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.

RELIGION

Religions Population % Adherents Ann.Gr.
Christian 96.10 18,668 +2.4%
non-Religious/Other 1.80 350 +7.7%
Chinese/Buddhist 1.20 233 +6.3%
Baha'i 0.90 175 +4.9%

Christians Denom. Affil.% ,000 Ann.Gr.
Protestant 3 30.19 6 +2.1%
Independent 3 1.84 0 +7.3%
Catholic 1 46.33 9 +2.4%
Marginal 3 12.35 2 +2.4%
Unaffiliated   5.40 1 n.a.

Churches MegaBloc Cong. Members Affiliates
Catholic C 18 3,600 9,000
Evangelical Ch in Belau P 18 2,200 3,500
Seventh-day Adventist P 2 1,100 2,200
Modekngei M   640 1,600
Latter-day Saints (Morm) M 5 150 500
Jehovah's Witnesses M 1 73 300
Assemblies of God P 2 24 164
Other denoms [3]   4 185 358
Total Christians [10]   50 7,800 17,600

Trans-bloc Groupings pop.% ,000 Ann.Gr.
Evangelical 21.5 4 +2.4%
Charismatic 3.1 1 +5.6%
  Pentecostal 0.8 0 +4.9%

Missionaries from Palau
P,I,A 6 with YWAM in the Pacific.

Missionaries to Palau
P,I,A 11 in 5 agencies from 3 countries: Philippines 5, Korea 4. C 5. M 15.

Challenges for Prayer

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.

3 Missionary vision for both less-evangelized Micronesian islands, and beyond, is being stimulated by the YWAM base in Palau.

4 Christian radio. High Adventure and the Seventh-day Adventists have significant radio stations broadcasting to East Asia; the former broadcasting 63 hrs/wk in 5 languages.

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