Mormon Growth in the Pacific Islands
The missionaries from the Latter Day Saints or the Mormons are making great advances in the Pacific and largely, no other missionaries are doing anything to speak of.
If you are one that follows stats (as I am), you know that 1 in 5 Samoans are members of the Mormon church today. That is a huge number concerning that the country is only about 200,000 people. They are building their churches all over the place.
It is not just Samoa having huge influx of them either. Fiji is seeing a growth of 2.9% a year and Tonga is just behind them. They are making great advances in the region and there is no way around that.
They have their sights set on smaller nations now like Tuvalu, Kiribati and Marshall Islands. They want to take their version of Dominion theology to every single village of the Pacific Ocean. The problem is they have been pretty effective at doing it to this point.
How the Mormon Church is growing
They move into an area as a ward, (their word for a church) and develop relationships with the people. They give the people food, lumber, and whatever else they need to improve their lives.
Yes, they are throwing lots of cash at the people in the name of compassion and it is working very well. The Islanders are converting because they see the Mormons care about them.
After giving them food and supplies for months at a time, they build a temple in the area and start their development of religious activities. They make sure they have a nice high school size basketball court in the building that is fully air conditioned to use as a community center.
As you can see, the Latter Day Saints church become the center of all things for the area and they use this as a golden opportunity to share about the book of Mormonism. At this point, they have won the people over with the practical help and the compassion they show to the people.
They build these centers, or wards, to withstand any hurricane so when there is a disaster; the shelter for the people to live in while they rebuild is the church. It is just more opportunity to share their message and make the people feel they own a debt to the Mormons.
They are repeating this village by village and they are converting the whole countries to their brand of religion. Largely, without anyone saying a word about it. I have personally watch them do this in Samoa and Fiji with my own eyes.
YWAM is the only voice in the Pacific
I used to be part of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and they are the only real missionary work going on in the Philippines. The Assemblies of God is not there. The Church of God is not there. The Foursquare Church is not active, either.
While there are some theological concerns about them, they are the only voice of hope to the people of the Pacific. There are some native churches but many of them are not very strong and have their own motives. When it comes to actual missionaries, these guys are the only ones to be found. This is not good.
I have traveled and been to some of the YWAM bases in Samoa, Fiji and in Tonga and they are doing what they can to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to the people of those nations but most of them are in any way equipped to deal with Mormonism.
Many of the staff that volunteer at the mission bases are not formally trained and they do not know the history of American religion or the theological discussion around what these guys teach. It becomes a “I believe” vs “you believe” discussion. The only chance they have is to win a debate (very unlikely) or have a miracle break out.
My point is no matter how much the people of YWAM in the Pacific love Jesus; they are not prepared to deal with the rising problem of Mormonism in the islands. They just do not have the historical, cultural, and theological understanding they need to win the Mormons to Christ.
Evangelicals are funding the Mormons too
The truth is they have made millions from tourism in Hawaii to fund all these works. There is a popular Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Hawaii. Many people, including evangelicals, go there every day and they are helping the Mormons convert the whole of Oceania by doing it. Tickets currently sit at $140 per person. People pay it all the time too!
It is not there, either. They have several other operations around Hawaii and have several gardens that people can visit for a fee. Again, all of the profits going to fund the building of these wards in the islands of the Pacific.
They also have bought the Robert Louis Stevenson (author of Treasure Island) in Apia, Samoa and many people who visit Samoa are paying $25 for a ticket to go to it. All of that money is being used to fund these projects as you can imagine.
I do not know if people do not know that they are visiting tourist sites owned by the Mormons or just do not care. They need to have no problem with going to the Assembly of God on Sundays and then going to Polynesian Cultural Center on Monday or the Robert Louis Stevenson house. I am guessing that dots are not connecting for them.
I am not saying that we should not go to Hawaii or that we should only shop at stores owned by Charismatics or Pentecostals. That would not be biblical to do, anyways. I am saying that we need to make sure we are giving the Latter Day Saints the money to brainwash the people in these villages.