Christianity is seen as a national identity in our country, prime minister Gordon Darcy Lilo says.
He was speaking at the opening of the Seventh Day Adventist church centenary celebration at Viru, Western Province, Tuesday.
“In towns and villages many people acknowledge the sovereign hand of God over our nation and acknowledge his plan for our destiny,” Lilo said.
“The vast majority of Solomon Islands population are Christians.
“This is an impact of the work of churches since the late 19th and early 20th centuries,” he added.
He acknowledged the good services the SDA mission has rendered to the people since 1914.
He said that like other churches the early establishment of SDA in its infancy days was not easy.
“There were many challenges that the church had encountered during its humble beginning.
“Many missionaries made extremely difficult sacrifices and some even lost their lives.
“But out of those sacrifices, Christianity was widely established,” he said.
He said missionaries are the chief agents of cultural changes here.
“They provide the dominant role models for acculturation.
“Today the churches remain as fundamental and close to lives of Solomon Islanders than ever before,” he said.
The SDA mission was first established at Viru, South New Georgia, in 1914 by Pastor Griffith Jones and his wife Marion with the help of Mr Whitely and the protectorate government.
The church then grew from the Western Solomons to other parts of Solomon Islands.
By STEPHEN DIISANGO