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W here in the w orld is . . . Mauritius? mauritius? (formerly the Isle of France) Mauritice is an island nation located about 540 miles east of Madagascar in the southwest Indian Ocean. The nation is officially part of the Mascarene Islands. The capitol city of Mauritius is Port Louis. There are at least two Baptist churches on the Island. The United Kingdom took control of the islands in 1810 from France during the Napoleonic Wars, and Mauritius gained its independent from the UK in 1968. In 1812 Samuel Newell and his wife, Harriet, landed on the Island as missionaries. The Newells had been commissioned with Adoniram and Ann Judson and sailed to India on the same ship, the Caravan in February of 1812. The Judsons and the Newells were the first missionaries from America to sail to foreign shores. Harriet died a few weeks after arriving on the Island. Foreign missionary groups are allowed to operate on a case-by-case basis. Although there are no government regulations restricting their presence or limiting their proselytizing activities, groups must obtain both a visa and a work permit for each missionary. Reverend and Mrs. Guy Grenade are serving on Mauritius with Worldwide New Testament Baptist Mission. SIM (Sudan Interior Mission) maintains a presence in the Island. Mauritius has been called the “forgotten mission field.” A beautiful tropical tourist destination, it is home to more than a million people, over half of whom are Hindus, the politically dominant group. There is also a large minority population of Muslims. There is official free- dom of religion, but all activity directed to evangelizing Hindus is resisted and missionary visas have been very difficult to obtain. (SIM) Port Louis NATIONS • 15