Pohnpei Part 2 - People and Culture
Thanks for joining me as I share about my extraordinary July Christian Endeavor journey! In this second blog of the Pohnpei series, I focus on the people and culture of this beautiful land.
Pohnpei’s culture, as well as most island cultures, is highly relational and moves at a slower pace than where I live. Favorite foods include barbecued pork and chicken, noodles, and when able to afford it- Mangrove Crab. Pohnpeian’s also enjoy catching fish in the ocean and immediately frying it with no other preparation.
Ninety percent of the people in the Pacific are either Catholic or Protestant. Pohnpei is believed to be ninety-seven percent Christian with a small percentage going to an aggressive Church of Latter Day Saints push.
There are 55,000 Pohnpeian people in the world and 35,000 still live on this island. Because FSM (along with the Marshall Islands and Pulau) has a Compact of Free Association (COFA) with the United States, Pohnpeians have permission to visit and immigrate to U.S. states, territories or other COFA islands. This has allowed thousands of Pohnpeians the choice to leave Pohnpei and live across the Pacific or mainland U.S.
My trip was solely dedicated to Pohnpei because of a special invitation given from Pohnpeian Christian Endeavor leadership. This invitation was extended to me and the Vice President for the Pacific, Kahu Michael Warren from Hawai’i (“Kahu” is the Hawai’ian word for pastor). As a result, I had the privilege to observe the Pohnpeian church first hand, which I will explore in next weeks blog!