The Melanesian Brotherhood (Solomon Islands)
The Melanesian Brotherhood was founded by Ini Kopuria, a native Solomon Islander from Guadalcanal, in 1925. Its main purpose was evangelistic, to take and live the Gospel in the most remote islands and villages throughout the Solomon Islands, among people who had not heard the message of Christ. The Brotherhood’s method is to live as brothers to the people, respecting their traditions and customs: planting, harvesting, fishing, house building, eating and sharing with the people in all these things. Kopuria believed that Solomon Islanders should be converted in a Melanesian way.
Today, the work of the Brotherhood has broadened to include work and mission among both Christians and non-Christians. The Melanesian Brotherhood now has three Regions in the Pacific: Solomon Islands (includes Brothers in the Philippines and Vancouver); Papua New Guinea; and Southern (Vanuatu, New Caledonia & the Diocese of Polynesia). There is a Region for Companions and any Brothers in Europe.
Following an ethnic conflict in the Solomon Islands 1998-2003, the Melanesian Brotherhood have been increasingly called upon as peace makers and reconcilers, work for which they were awarded the United Nations Pacific Peace Prize in 2004.
The Brotherhood has also led missions in New Zealand, Australia, Philippines and UK; their missionary approach includes music, dance and a powerful use of drama. There was a further mission in the UK in 2013 conducted with members of four Anglican Religious communities in Melanesia, entitled the Simply Living Mission. The Brothers and Sisters visited seven dioceses in England.
The Brotherhood aims to live the Gospel in a direct and simple way following Christ’s example of prayer, mission and service. The Brothers take the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, but these are not life vows but for a period of three years, which can be renewed. They train for four years as novices and normally make their vows as Brothers at the Feast of St Simon and St Jude. Most of the Brothers are laymen but a few are ordained.
Name: Matthias Tovotasi
(Headbrother, assumed office October 2011)
Address: The Mother House of the Melanesian Brotherhood, Tabalia, PO Box 1479, Honiara, Solomon Islands
Tel: +677 263 55
Fax: +677 230 79