Journal of Pacific Studies


The Future of christianity: The Case of Ponape (Abstract)

By: Shem Jimmy

Ponape, a large island in the Carolines, was in the pre-christian era first ruled under a political system based on graded classes or levels of chieftainship. The system was strengthened by traditional religious beliefs and practices. There was civil war and fighting between the various tribes.

Western culture and christianity were introduced just over a century ago. The new religion was quickly accepted by the Ponapeans, especially the chiefs, who saw it as a means of getting access to the material goods, power and knowledge of the white man. Hence, the cause of Christianity was supported by the chiefs. Mission schools were established for the Ponapeans to worship the God of the white man.

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