(July 2014 estimate)
English, Melanesian Pidgin
In 1568 the Spanish explorer Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira observed gold on the Solomon Islands, and, thinking it the source of King Solomon's fabled wealth, he left the islands with their given name. This group of islands east of Papua New Guinea in the Pacific Ocean came under British rule in 1893 and received independence in 1978. The World War II Battle of Guadalcanal took place in the Solomon Islands, and that war became a key factor in unifying the divided peoples of the islands. In some corners of the nation, inheritances include non-material things such as knowledge, wisdom, and magical powers.
The economy is based on agriculture, fishing, and forestry, and many mineral resources are underdeveloped. Fish and lumber are the main exports, but the industries are mostly foreign owned. Ethnic tensions led to violence and a 2000 coup and resulted in an Australian-led police force arriving in 2003 to restore order. This violence, along with the closing of key businesses and a moneyless government, led to an economic collapse.
Over the past hundred years, the Church in the Solomon Islands has grown from around 30% of the population to over 95%, serving as a unifying factor for the nation, as well as providing many services to the people. Much syncretism takes place in the Church, with some islanders still praying to their ancestors or practicing animism or black magic. The Church played a key role in reconciliation throughout the recent ethnic conflict and is conducting a Truth and Reconciliation Commission as well. Despite a history of revivals, the Church has begun to stagnate and is in need of a fresh breath. However, because of this history, the Solomon Islands are still home to a group of dedicated prayer warriors.
(Used with permission from www.prayercast.com/solomon-islands.html.)
Over the years, BIMI missionaries have had the opportunity to impact lives on the ground through Bible distribution projects as well as teaching at Bible colleges. There is an Open Door of opportunity to continue ministering to the Solomon Island people. Consider how you can help to continue the work going forward by being in prayer to the Lord. Please contact BIMI's Southeast Asia Director
to obtain more information.