Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Islam in Papua New Guinea

I


Islam in Papua New Guinea is a minority religion; the US department of state estimates that there are about 2,000 Muslims in the country

History

The people of what is today Papua New Guinea and West Papua traded with China and the Malay empire, the latter of which was Muslim, beginning in the 16th century.[2] In 1988, Muslims in Papua New Guinea set up the first Islamic center, with the help of a Malaysia-based Islamic organization and the Saudi Ministry of Islamic affairs. In 1996, three more Islamic centers were established, with the help of the Muslim World League. There are now seven Islamic centers in the nation. The first mosque was built in Port Moresby, with a capacity to hold up to 1,500 worshipers.[3]

Islam in present day Papua New Guinea

Today, there are around 4,000 Muslims in the country, with many taking up the faith in recent years.[4]
In Papua New Guinea, new Islamic missionary movements are beginning to proliferate. There are pockets of Muslims around Port Moresby, in Baimuru, Daru, Marshall Lagoon, the Musa Valley and in the islands of New Britain and New Ireland. It is in the Highlands that Islam has seen the most growth.