Gospel Day is a national holiday in the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu to commemorate the arrival of the Gospel in Tuvalu in the year 1861. Gospel Day is observed on the Monday that follows the second Sunday of every May.
|2020||11 May||Mon||Gospel Day|
|2021||10 May||Mon||Gospel Day|
|2022||9 May||Mon||Gospel Day|
Due to its extreme isolation, Tuvalu first encountered Christianity much later than most other parts of the world. And since most on its nine islands today are Christians, Gospel Day is cause for major celebration.
A Christian from the Cook Islands named Elekana was thrust to Tuvalu by a storm and by ocean currents after the storm had subsided. Upon arrival, Elekana acted the part of a missionary, though this had never been his plan.
Four years later, in 1865, the first “official” missionary arrived in Tuvalu from the UK. And by 1878, every island in what is today Tuvalu had been evangelised and had accepted Christianity.
After a century under the tutelage of the London Missionary Society, the Congregational Church in Tuvalu finally gained independent status. Most of the people in Tuvalu belong to this church, but there are other denominations and religions present as well. And freedom of religion is guaranteed in Tuvalu’s constitution.