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French Polynesia


Map of French Polynesia

French Polynesia

World Convention is currently building a global reference for the  countries and territories where we know there are Christian – Churches of Christ – Disciples of Christ Congregations. Of the 193 United Nations States, the Stone-Campbell Movement exists in 165. This listing includes other nations and territories, numbering 194 countries where there is at least one representation of our churches.

Rather than waiting for comprehensive, complete information we are putting up the details we have available. If you can correct or add to this information, please contact the World Convention Office with details at gary@worldconvention.org.

Background

The Territory of French Polynesia is comprised of five archipelagoes in the south Pacific midway between Australia and South America. The islands, which cover a land area of slightly more than 4,000 sq km (1,600 sq miles) are scattered in an area roughly the size of Europe. Polynesian inhabitation of these islands can be traced over two thousand years with European contact being first established in 1767. In about 1840 the French began to subdue the islands but met with armed resistance by the local chiefs of Tahiti. They bowed to French control in 1843 and remain, today, an overseas territory of France. France used the atoll of Mururoa as a nuclear test site but that practice was abandoned in 1996. The population of French Polynesia is about 275,000. The capitol is Papeete.

The French made large military expenditures in the islands during the late twentieth century, which gave employment, high wages and improved infrastructure. Also, this resulted in about 70% of the population locating on Tahiti. Tourism accounts for more than 20% of the gross domestic product of the islands. The island landscapes were made famous by French artist Paul Gauguin. Cultured pearls are the islands chief export.

Religion

Christian missionaries began evangelization in 1797. Today the religious population is strongly Christian with about 50% being of Protestant traditions and 30% Roman Catholic.

The Stone-Campbell Movement in French Polynesia
The Churches of Christ have had limited activity in French Polynesia, beginning in about 1991. Bible correspondence courses have been the major form of evangelism in French Polynesia with follow-up visits by American missionaries Randy English and Donnie Templeton, to provide encouragement to the national Christians.

Clinton J. Holloway
National Profiles Editor
November, 2008

Revised by Gary Holloway, December 5, 2013

For further historical reference:
Churches of Christ Around the World, Lynn, Mac, 21st Century Christian Publications, Nashville, TN, 2003.

Disciples of Christ Historical Society, 1101 19th Avenue, South, Nashville, TN (USA) 37212, Telephone: 615 327 1444
Website: http://www.discipleshistory.org (provides links to other historical sites/databases).

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