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Tuvalu


Tuvalu

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 174. This listing includes other nations and territories, numbering 195 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

Tuvalu is a tiny Pacific island of 26 sq km (10 sq miles) about midway between Hawaii and Australia. They were formerly known as the Ellice Islands and were once a part of the island groups that became the Republic of Kiribati in the 1970s. Tuvalu consists of five coral atolls and four reef islands, none more than 5 m (15 feet) above sea level. First populated by Polynesian migrants from Samoa and Tonga sometime in the fourteenth century, today the 10,600 inhabitants speak a Polynesian-Samoan dialect. The islands were sighted by Spanish explorers in the sixteenth century but no further European contact took place until the eighteenth century. It would not be until 1826 that the whole group was finally discovered and mapped. For three decades (1850-1880) the islands were a source of labor for Fijian and Australian sugar plantations and the population was said to have dropped from 20,000 to 3,000. Placed under a British protectorate in 1892 the islands, along with the Gilbert Islands, were annexed by the UK in 1916. In 1975 the islands were separated from the larger colony, extended home rule and renamed Tuvalu. Today the islands are governed by a constitutional monarchy with a single legislative body known as Parliament.

Tuvalu has the world’s smallest economy with subsistence farming supporting 70% of the population. Tuvalu does have a large Exclusive Economic Zone of 1.2 million sq km (500,000 sq miles) and receives revenue from fishing licenses in this zone. Some coconut is exported, small amount of phosphate are mined and remittances from expatriates and seaman provide income. An international trust fund also provides income.

Religion

The Church of Tuvalu (Congregationalist) accounts for 97% of the religious heritage of the population.

Stone-Campbell Presence

In 1989 American Randy English, a resident of American Samoa, made a missions trip to Tuvalu making valuable contacts and establishing Bible-correspondence courses. In a follow-up trip in 1990 he conducted intensive teaching resulting in four baptisms and the establishment of an a cappella Church of Christ in Funafuti. Robert Martin has made trips to encourage the church.

Clinton J. Holloway
National Profiles Editor
January 2004

Revised by Gary Holloway, January 13, 2014

Contact Information

A. National Office
B. Congregational Information

Randy English
P.O. Box 1268
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799

C. Educational Institutions
D. Social Service Ministries
E. Magazines/Periodicals
F. International Ministries
G. Conventions/Lectureships/Assemblies/Forums/Conferences
H. Points of Interest