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Republic of Vanuatu


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Area: 12,190 sq km

Twelve larger and 70 smaller islands, southeast of the Solomon Islands in the southwest Pacific. Formerly New Hebrides.

Population: 245,786    Annual Growth: 2.58%

Capital: Vila

Urbanites: 25.6%

HDI Rank: 126 of 182 (UN Human Development Reports 2009)


Official language: Bislama (Pidgin English), English, French    Languages: 108 All languages


Largest Religion: Christian

Religion               Pop %Ann Gr

Challenges for Prayer

The spiritual challenges for Christians:

a) Small pockets of traditional ethnic religion remain on Tanna, Aniwa, Santo, Vao and other islands. Many still follow kastom (custom) and strict taboos. Cargo cults persist, though declining significantly in number.

b) Culture and the gospel. Different churches have come to different conclusions on how much traditional culture is appropriate to retain, with extremes on both sides. Pray that ni-Vanuatu believers would be guided rightly in what parts of kastom can be redeemed and what parts must be set aside.

c) The increasing influx of other faiths. Mormon numbers have grown quickly because of missionary activity. Baha’i numbers are likewise growing rapidly. Muslims are active and offer free Islamic schooling in Fiji to students. Pray for the truth to be made manifest and for ni-Vanuatu to hold fast to the life they found in Christ.

d) Pray for a deeper grasp of the Christian faith in Vanuatu. Most of those drawn into other religions or cults lack an adequate understanding of the Bible, which safeguards them against such false teachings.

Christian media:

a) Bible translation. Vernacular literacy and training for ni-Vanuatu are major ongoing tasks. At least 30 languages have active translation or revision projects, and another 49 have such needs; UBS and WBT are involved with most of these.

b) Audio Scriptures are essential in a country with low literacy rates. GRN have recordings in 53 languages, and the Megavoice audio player is used to transmit some recent translations, such as the 2008 NT translation in North Tanna.

c) The JESUS film is widely shown in several languages.

d) Radio. Vanuatu Christian Radio broadcasts 24 hours a day.

     For an additional 2 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.

More Information

The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Vanuatu.