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.
Vanuatu is a nation of islands with a population of just under 250,000.
With 65 of its 80 islands unhabituated, the population is concentrated in
five main islands: Espiritu Santo, Malakula, Efate, Pentecost, and Tanna.
While the main urban centre of Port Vila is home to around 50,000, the
majority of Ni-Vanuatu live in rural areas, where they are primarily
engaged in subsistence agriculture and supplementary cash crop production.
Like many Pacific nations, Vanuatu social and political development is
challenged by small populations, difficult geography, reliance on foreign aid,
poor terms of trade, and little comparative advantage