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Christianity and the shaping of Vanuatu’s social and political development
journal contributionposted on 2015-01-01, 00:00 authored by Matthew ClarkeMatthew Clarke
The Pacific island state of Vanuatu has been considerably shaped by its Christian heritage. Indeed, the role of the various Christian Churches has been pivotal in the development and sustenance of Vanuatu prior to and since its Independence. These Churches include Anglican, Catholic, Pentecostal and evangelical denominations. Missionaries and later local Church leaders were involved directly in Independence movements and shaped the legal and social infrastructure of this nation. This involvement and influence has continued to the present. This article will consider the role the Church has played in the development of Vanuatu. First, a case study analysis of both the historical and contemporary role the Church has played in the development of Vanuatu will be presented. This review will consider the impact of both key individual Church leaders who played central roles in Vanuatu’s Independence. Secondly, the paper will consider the contemporary role Christian Churches play in the provision of social service- including education and health-across Vanuatu. It will conclude that Christianity has therefore played and continues to play a central role in the political and social development of Vanuatu.