Text source: Wallace Revels
Introduction / History
The Falkland Islands consist of two predominate islands and hundreds of very small islands off the southeast coast of Argentina (South America). The islands are a voluntary British Territory that have enjoyed remarkable growth and economic development becoming one of the United Kingdom's most dynamic and proactive Overseas Territories.
The Falkland Islands were first landed upon in 1690 by the British and was settled in 1764 by the French. Spain was given control of the islands in 1766 and the United Kingdom took control of them in 1833. In 1914, the Falkland Islands waters were the site of one of WW1's major naval battles. The British victory in this battle secured safe passage for allied ships around Cape Horn for the duration of the war. The islands were the sight of a military conflict between Argentina and the UK in 1982 but have been peaceful since that time. Diplomatic relations between the UK and Argentina were restored in 1990 and efforts to improve relations continue. Great Britian maintains a small military force on the islands.
Where are they located?
The Falkland Islands are located in the South Atlantic Ocean 400 miles off the coast of Argentina. The land area of the islands (two main islands and hundreds of smaller ones) is 4700 square miles. The topography is hilly with several peaks reaching 2000 feet.
What are their lives like?
The climate is cold throughout much of the year averaging 42 degrees F. The warmest month is January when temperatures can reach the mid 70s and the coldest is July with temperatures in the low 20s. The islands receive strong winds throughout the year. Clouds, humidity, rainfall, and snow flurries are common for most of the year. There is little arable land and the only natural vegetation are grasses and shrubs. No trees are indigenous to the islands but transplated trees will live there. (1) (2)
The population of the islands is 3200 as of 2008. The language spoken is English. The economy was formerly based on sheep farming but today fishing contributes the bulk of economic activity. In 1987, the government began selling fishing licenses to foreign trawlers operating within the Falkland Islands' exclusive fishing zone. These license fees total more than $40 million per year, which help support the island's health, education, and welfare system. Squid accounts for three-quarters of the fish taken. Dairy farming supports domestic consumption. Exports feature shipments of high-grade wool to the UK and the sale of postage stamps and coins. The islands are now self-financing except for defense. (2)
The British Geological Survey announced a 200-mile oil exploration zone around the islands in 1993 and early seismic surveys suggest substantial reserves capable of producing 500,000 barrels per day. To date, no site development activity has been started. Tourism, especially eco-tourism, is increasing rapidly with about 30,000 visitors in 2001. Another large source of income is interest paid on money the government has in the bank. The British military presence also provides a sizeable economic boost. (2)
Kerosene and diesel are the most popular sources of heating fuel on the islands and liquid propane is commonly used for cooking. There is a growing utilization of wind-driven turbine power throughout the islands. Approximately one-fifth of electricity is supplied by the wind turbines and more windfarm deployment is planned. (1)
The Falkland Islands are very modern and function much like any mainland metropolitan area. More than two thirds of homes have computers and most of these have internet access. Homes commonly have television, major appliances, and telephones. Mobile telephones are also quite common. (1)
Although Falkland Islands Government remains the largest employer, with a workforce of some 600 people, there is a growing private sector supporting industries such as fisheries, tourism, and infrastructure development. Business services and local shops also contribute to employment on the islands.The total workforce is more than 2,000 people. Technical and professional posts that cannot be filled from local resources are filled by recruits from overseas, usually the UK, St. Helena, Australia or New Zealand, on fixed term contracts. Permits are required to work in the Islands. Salaries are comparable to those in the UK. (1)
Most recreational activities available in modern cities of the world are also available in the Falkland Islands. Many sports, sightseeing, and wildlife watching opportunities exist. Other cultural and civic activies are common. Modern education, police, fire & rescue, and healthcare services are available on the islands. All are based on the British services system.
What are their beliefs?
Christianity is the major religion practiced in the islands. Anglican is the major variety represented there with other protestant and catholic churches also being represented. Close to one-third of the population of the islands claim no affiliation with any religion. (2)
What are their needs?
Even though the islands have a large concentration of adherents of the Christian faith, every nation needs to have the proper instruction and living example of Biblical Christianity. Discipleship and Scripture-oriented teaching & preaching need to be maintained. Evangelistic efforts for the islands and neighboring nations are also an area that needs to be established and/or maintained.
Prayer PointsView Falkland Islanders in all countries.
* Pray for Biblical Christianity to be proclaimed on these islands.
* Pray for local converts to be prepared for ministry unto their neighbors.
* Pray for their protection and provision while they engage in spiritual warfare.
* Pray for God to raise up a people who will take the gospel message to neighboring islands and into other nations.