Gospel Day in (Kosrae) in Micronesia

Gospel Day is a holiday that’s observed annually on the 21st of August in Kosrae, Micronesia. This holiday was created to commemorate the introduction of Christianity to the island and is now an official public holiday in Kosrae. However, it’s not a holiday that’s observed in the other Micronesian states.

Christianity has been on the island since the mid-19th century and has played an important part in this area’s government. Since this is an official public holiday, most non-essential government offices are closed on this day, as are businesses and schools. It’s also a day off for the general population.

The History Of Gospel Day In Kosrae, Micronesia

Located in Oceania, the Federated State of Micronesia is predominately Christian, but there’s an unusually high population of Protestants in Kosrae. In fact, approximately 95% of the island is Protestant, which is quite stunning when comparing it to the state of Pohnpei, which is about half Protestant and half Catholic. That’s because, in Kosrae, Protestantism was introduced by American Congregational missionaries.

Protestant missionaries would first come to Kosrae in 1852. They arrived at a time when the population of the island was on the decline thanks to a deadly epidemic that was sweeping the island. The population of the island had gone from 3,000 people down to a little more than 300. This sudden loss of inhabitants would end up causing many of the island’s political and social institutions to collapse.

A new government would be set up by the Protestant missionaries that helped keep society on the island from fully collapsing. A Protestant Pastor named Benjamin Snow then set up town hall meetings for the islanders. The paramount chief of Kosrae would end up being forced to show support to Pastor Snow in 1969 and Snow formed a council of 7-elected representatives. Although this council was supposed to tend to the affairs of the island, it was actually the church that held the final say on all matters.

In 1874, the council deposed the chief and installed a new Christian chief that was elected by the populace. Islanders were then converted to Christianity and the church become the de-facto center of social and political life in Kosrae.

Observing Gospel Day In Kosrae, Micronesia

This holiday is a day off for the general population, and a day when many businesses, schools, and government offices are closed. It’s also a day that’s marked by church services and church-sponsored activities.

Where is it celebrated?
Micronesia (Local holiday)
When is it?
This year (2023)
August 21 Monday
Next year (2024)
August 21 Wednesday
Last year (2022)
August 21 Sunday