Religion: Protestant 54.8%, Assembly of God 25.8%, Roman Catholic 8.4%, Bukot nan Jesus 2.8%, Mormon 2.1%, other Christian 3.6%, other 1%, none 1.5%
Capital: Majuro 31,000
Language: Marshallese (official) 98.2%, other languages 1.8% Note: English (official), widely spoken as a second language
Time difference: 17 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST)
Ethnic groups: Marshallese 92.1%, mixed Marshallese 5.9%, other 2%
Government type: constitutional government in free association with the US
Literacy rate: 93.7%
Summary of Marshall Islands
Roughly half way between Hawaii and Australia lies a chain of 1,156 Pacific islands dispersed across nearly two million square miles. With astonishing coral atolls and vibrantly blue water, the Marshall Islands are a breathtaking part of God's creation. Yet, their history bitterly contradicts the appearance of paradise, as war and occupation have often plagued the islands. Following World War II, the United States was drawn to these isolated islands as a testing ground for nuclear bombs. To this day, the Marshall Islands suffer from the many consequences of nuclear testing, such as high rates of genetic disorders and cancer.
The islands were occupied by the United States for several decades after World War II. Today the Marshall Islands is a sovereign nation under a Compact of Free Association with the U.S. With America responsible for the security and defense of the islands, roughly 61% of the island's annual budget comes from U.S. aid. The Kwajalein atoll is used as a U.S. missile test range to this day. The economic presence of the United States has helped to hold this nation together, but with imports far exceeding exports, dependence is of great concern. Unemployment and urbanization are very high. Many islands, like Ebeye, are experiencing unsustainable population explosions, leading to dismal conditions.
Marshall Islanders are overwhelmingly people of faith, with 97% claiming Christianity. Within that Christian population the majority are Protestant, and half of those are Evangelical. The Church has enormous influence in every area of society, but many believers have little discipleship and are easily led astray by false teaching. Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Baha'is are actively spreading their faith throughout the islands. Godly church leadership is needed to rightly shepherd the flock, providing the Church a firm Biblical foundation.
(Used with permission from www.prayercast.com/marshall-islands.html.)
((Statistical information taken from CIA World Factbook))
Missionaries in Marshall Islands:
Far East Director
David & Jenny Harris
Read more about the Harris family.
He can be contacted through the BIMI office (423) 344-5050 ex. 2402.