Friday, June 5, 2009

Tongan Churches

Tonga is the belt buckle of the South Pacific Bible Belt. Its traditional churches are built of coral rock and sure to stand there a thousand years from now.
Tongan official church. The king and the nobles attend here.Catholic church

Not in the picture: the many pretty small churches paid for by Tongan expatriates and the missionary efforts of US churches. One of the most successful: the Mormons.


Petra said...

Which reminds me of the fact that when I first traveled to Salt Lake City I was astonished to see so many Tongans there. Even on the plane there were more Tongans than I had ever before seen together.

Once the connection between Tonga and Mormons was explained to me, it made sense.

Advisor said...

Since Tonga is not affiliated with any country - most other islanders have NZ, American, or French passports because their country is in some sort of dependency (on financial aid) from the 'motherland', Tongans have to find other ways to get off their islands. A free education in Utah is a popular escape route.

There is a dark side: gang activity among young male Tongans in the USA.

The first non-tourism related Tongan we spoke to sat at the table next to us in the "Friends Cafe" in downtown Nuku'alofa. He was about fifty, American nationality, on a return visit to his homeland. He told us that the Seattle police can't find the murderer of his son.