(Samoa Islands; formerly Navigators Islands). Fertile volcanic islands in SW cen. Pacific Ocean; formerly ruled by native chiefs. Divided: Am. Samoa (Eastern Samoa; area: ca. 76 sq. mi.; administered by US, Brit., and Ger. 188999; granted to US 1899) and Territory of Western Samoa (area: ca. 1,133 sq. mi.; granted 1879 to Ger. by treaty with native ruler; ruled by US, Brit., and Ger. 188999; Ger. colony 18991914; occupied by New Zealand 1914; mandate of New Zealand 1919; indep. mem. of Brit. Commonwealth 1962 as Western* Samoa.
A Samoan visited Tonga 1828, learned Christianity from Meths. and brought it to Samoa. J. Williams* visited Samoa 1830 and left some Cong. Tahitian teachers. LMS entered the field in the 1830s. Most of the pop. is Christian. RCs began work 1845. Assemblies of God and Seventh-day Adventists also have missions.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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