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St Peter’s Anglican Church

June 6 - Ini Kopuria

Founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood

Ini Kopuria

One of the most important organisations of the Melanesian church is the Melanesian Brotherhood. It was begun in 1926 by Ini Kopuria. Kopuria was born about 1900 at Maravovo on Guadalcanal, the first Christian village on that island. He was baptised and then sent away to school, first to Pamua and later to Norfolk Island. Even at that stage he was remarkable for his independence and originality. Instead of becoming a village teacher, as expected, he joined the Native Armed Constabulary and was stationed on Guadalcanal.

In 1924, while attempting to make an arrest, Kopuria suffered an accident and was ill for some time. He underwent an intense religious experience and decided to form a brotherhood of young men who would take Christianity to the pagan villages of Guadalcanal where he himself had worked as a policeman. “I have visited all the villages as a police sergeant,” he said, “and they all know me: why not go to them now as a missionary.” Read more...

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