French Polynesia

Population

About country profiles

The country profiles are intended to provide some background and context for the descriptions of the churches. These profiles should be read in conjunction with those of the churches in the country.

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251717
Surface area:4000 km2
Capital:Papeete
GNI per capita:17500 US$
Classification:High income
Languages:

French

Tahitian

Religions:

Christian: 88.00%

Other: 4.00%

Christianity:

Protestants: 111740

Catholics: 96820

Independent: 5130

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French Polynesia is made up of a group of islands in the Polynesian part of the Pacific. The main island is Tahiti. France annexed the territory in the 19th century. It has the status of an overseas territory, with a government, assembly and administration. The original inhabitants of the islands constitute 80 percent of the population. In 2005, they obtained the majority in the assembly and the presidency of the government. The economy of French Polynesia is based on agriculture, fishing and pearl-farming, with some local processing industry. The high income per capita is mostly due to transfers from the central government, and activities induced by metropolitan French. France used the territory for its nuclear testing from 1966 to 1992, and again in 1995-96. The presence of military personnel was an important economic asset for the population. However, protest against the nuclear tests has been vigourous, and has had significant international support. Independent research has brought to light the damage done to the population and the environment, which France has always denied. The tests have stopped, but actions continue to obtain recognition, reparations, truth and justice. Protestant missions were present in the area before French colonization. The former Evangelical Church of French Polynesia, which now calls itself Maohi Protestant Church, is the largest church. Maohi is the name of the people. The church has been in the forefront of the anti-nuclear struggle.

 

Ecumenical Organizations and Councils

    WCC member churches based in French Polynesia

    WCC member churches present in French Polynesia

      Note: The list of churches present in countries is still in development.

      Last updated: 01/01/06