New Caledonia and Dependencies
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New Caledonia is a group of islands about 1,500 km (900 miles) off the northeast coast of Australia, near the island Republic of Vanuatu. Inhabited by indigenous Kanaks who call the land Kanaky, the islands were visited by the Spanish in the sixteenth and seventeen centuries, by Captain Cook in 1774 who gave it the name New Caledonia, and it served as a French penal colony between 1853 and 1897. New Caledonia remains a French dependency with the native peoples today representing only 47% of the population.
Christian 85%, Muslim 3%, Buddhist 1%, Agnostic 10%.
The Australian Christian magazine reports in the July 8, 1998 issue the first Churches of Christ congregation has been established in the French dependency of New Caledonia. This information was given as a report on the mission activities of the Churches of Christ in Vanuatu.
Bible correspondence courses were begun in New Caledonia in 1991 by the American a cappella Churches of Christ with plans to plant a congregation. In 2009 Barry Baggott planned to return to New Caledonia twice per year to help establish a church there.
Clinton J. Holloway
National Profiles Editor
Australian Churches of Christ Overseas Missions Board