Niue Peniamina Gospel Day

Niue Peniamina Gospel Day

Fourth Friday in October
Niue is a tropical island northeast of New Zealand that is approximately 269 square meters in size, with a population of approximately 1,500 people. It is one of the world's smallest self-governing states. Although the country was annexed to New Zealand in 1901, it gained sovereignty in 1974. The country still uses the New Zealand currency today.
Niue is believed to have been settled between 400 and 1100 ce by people from Samoa, Tonga, and the Cook Islands. Captain James Cook discovered the island in 1774 but met much resistance from the Niuans.
Niue Peniamina Gospel Day derives from the nation's conversion to Christianity. In 1830, John Williams, of the London Missionary Society, traveled to Niue, determined to convert the islanders to Christianity. He kidnapped two local boys named Niumaga and Uea to try to educate and convert them. Several months later, the boys returned to Niue, but the Niuans no longer accepted them. The islanders eventually killed Uea and his father.
Niumaga continued to face rejection by his fellow Niuans, so he and his friend, Peniamina Nukai, left for Samoa. Peniamina worked as a servant for Dr. George Turner, a famous missionary. While working for Dr. Turner, Peniamina learned to read and write, and he converted to Christianity.
On October 26, 1846, Peniamina returned to Niue, bringing with him his Christian beliefs and ideals. He preached to his fellow islanders and began to convert many to Christianity.
Today, Niue remains a deeply Christian country. Sunday is truly a day of rest; as a result most businesses are closed, and very few activities are conducted on Sunday. For example, fishing, diving and boating are not allowed on Sundays.
Every year, on the fourth Friday of October, Niuans observe Peniamina Gospel Day as a national holiday to celebrate the day that Peniamina brought Christianity to the island.
CONTACTS:
Niue Tourism Office
Commercial Centre
P.O. Box 42
Alofi, Niue Island
www.niueisland.com