Solomon Islands

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Solomon Islands

Pacific

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Geography

Area: 27,556 sq km

Six of the seven major volcanic islands of the Solomon Islands, also numerous smaller coral atolls. The seventh, Bougainville Island, is part of Papua New Guinea. The major island and island groups are Guadalcanal, Choiseul, New Georgia, Santa Isabel, Malaita, Makira/San Cristobal, Gela, Santa Cruz and the Russells.

Population: 535,699    Annual Growth: 2.49%

Capital: Honiara

Urbanites: 18.6%

HDI Rank: 135 of 182 (UN Human Development Reports 2009)

Peoples

Official language: English. Trade language Solomons Pijin, spoken by more than half the population    Languages: 71 All languages

Religion

Largest Religion: Christian

Religion               Pop %Ann Gr
Christians513,20095.802.4
Evangelicals178,58733.32.8

Answer to Prayer

Christian ministry during and since the civil conflict has been a good testimony. Peacekeeping efforts by all churches, including the Melanesian Brotherhood (resulting in the martyrdom of seven of these Anglican brothers), and counselling to those traumatized have been much-needed blessings to the nation. The government, at the Church’s request, initiated a Truth and Reconciliation Commission – the Church has a great role to play in the issue of reconciliation.

Challenge for Prayer

Christian support ministries for prayer:

a) Bible translation. Praiseworthy progress has been made, but many needs remain – only three languages have the whole Bible. The Bible in Solomons Pijin (the most widely used language) was completed in 2008. The NT was recently completed in Wala, Bughotu and Natugu. National believers are taking the initiative, and this long-underestimated ministry now receives the attention it deserves. Pray for the 19 translation projects shared by WBT, UBS and local believers; 28 more languages may still need translations. Pray also for the Solomon Islands Translation Advisory Group (SITAG), which coordinates Bible translation and for the Solomon Islands Bible Translation and Literacy Partnership (SIBTLP), the fellowship of Solomon Islander translators.

b) GRN has gospel messages in 88 languages and dialects, a crucial resource in a nation with so many small language groups and low literacy levels. Faith Comes By Hearing distributes audio NTs in Pijin to rural communities.

c) “Gud Nius Redio” (Pijin for Good News Radio) broadcasts in FM from the capital. It is the nation’s first Christian radio station, started through the help of UCB and HCJB.

d) Christian hospitals and clinics are significant for the country, which has one of the highest incidences of malaria in the world.

e) Education is one area where Christian ministries can have a positive impact, especially for girls, who tend to leave school early. The government invited churches to take over schools, and the SSEC and United Church have been active in this. New Hope International developed a programme to assist churches in making truly Christian schools. This is already bearing fruit in the lives of teachers and communities.

f) Missions. SWIM (Short Workshops In Mission) facilitates overseas short-term mission teams through its centre in Honiara. A number of others serve overseas long-term.

     For an additional 4 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 Solomon Islands.