Pacific Fast Facts*
- 14 countries
- Largest country — Australia
- Smallest country — Nauru
- Most Spoken Language: English
- Papua New Guinea has the second most Bible translation needs of any country in the world.
The Pacific is the world’s largest ocean and home to thousands of islands with diverse cultures and languages. Just over 1,300 languages are spoken in the Pacific, and more than 830 of those are spoken in Papua New Guinea alone.
Since the beginning of Christian missions in the Pacific, local believers have taken an active role in reaching their communities with the gospel. Samoan Christians were among the earliest missionaries to the island of New Guinea, and others like them are reaching out to share God’s Word with their neighbors. Today the gospel is nominally accepted by many of the Pacific peoples.
In some areas, the Christian church is vibrant and alive, sending missionaries to other parts of the globe. In other areas, the church is stifled by animism, fear and an incomplete understanding of the message of the gospel.
Along with the Indonesian archipelago, the Pacific islands are one of the greatest remaining needs for Bible translation in the world. Nearly 750 languages are known to have no Scripture, including the Tiri of New Caledonia. Although there are only 600 speakers of Tiri, this community — and many more like them — need Scripture in their own language so that they can understand God’s message of love and salvation. Then they will truly be equipped to share this message with their neighbors and other communities around the world.
- In a region where languages are still being discovered, pray that God would expand the work of Bible translation so that more and more communities can receive Scripture for themselves.
- Ask God to continue to further the local ownership of missions, that more national organizations would become involved in Bible translation work for their own communities.
- Pray that languages like the Tiri would gain access to God’s Word and be transformed by the message of the gospel.