(July 2014 estimate)
More than 300 volcanic and coral islands in the South Pacific Ocean make up the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Fiji. One hundred and ten of the tropical islands are inhabited, with the majority of the 900,000 people living on Viti Levu. Under British rule for nearly a century, Fiji became a republic in 1970. Before gaining independence, indentured servants from India were brought to work in the sugarcane fields, leading to a history of racism and segregation between natives and Indian Fijians. This ongoing scourge resulted in uprisings in 1987 and again in 2000. Recurring military coups along with broken government promises and faulty elections have led to an array of difficulties, including the crumbling of Fijian democracy.
One of the most developed economies in the South Pacific, Fiji's main industries include tourism, sugar, and clothing. Tourism has dwindled due to continued revolts, and because of unrest the islands have been removed from the Commonwealth of Nations. A European Union decision to cut sugar subsidies has lessened Fijian profits, and due to budget and trade deficits, the nation remains one of the world's largest recipients of aid. While the Indian community is the leader of commercial activity, they are denied nearly all rights of land ownership. This tension continues to destabilize the economy and hinder future growth.
Dating back 150 years, the Methodist church has had a strong presence in the Fijian government as well as in the lives of most native Fijians. Despite its position and political influence, little is being done to end racism and segregation, and this has greatly hindered the church's effectiveness in evangelism. Indo-Fijians make up more than 35 percent of the population, the majority practicing Hinduism. Christ's love can move the Fijian government and people's hearts – restoring them to godliness – so relationships can be healed and Indo-Fijians can be reached with the Gospel.
(Used with permission from www.prayercast.com/fiji.html.)
The Lord has opened up the doors of spreading the Gospel throughout the islands of Fiji. In the recent years, BIMI was invited by the Prime Minister to distribute Bibles and New Testaments to all of the island's school children. With the LORD providing an extraordinary amount of money through the giving of churches, BIMI was able to help distribute over 200,000 Bibles. The Word of God is now spread across the land. The need for preachers and church planters is even more imperative than ever before so that the recipients can understand the great truths of God's love.