Netherlands Antilles - (Nordamerika)

Informationen Řber Netherlands Antilles

Hauptstadt
Willemstad
Flńche
800 Quadratkilometer
Einwohnerzahl
210000
Religionen
Roman Catholic 82%, Protestant 2%, Jewish, Seventh-Day Adventist
Christen (%)
84.00
Protestanten (%)
2.00
Reformierte (%)

The Netherlands Antilles consist of a total of six islands divided into two groups “sitting” on each side of the Caribbean Sea, over 1000 km apart from one another. Curašao (444 km▓, 160,000 inhabitants), Bonaire (288 km▓, 11,300 inhabitants), and Aruba (190 km▓, 58,000 inhabitants) are situated just outside Venezuela. St. Maarten (288 km▓, with half of it belonging to France, 65,839 inhabitants), Saba (13 km▓, 1,180 inhabitants), and St. Eustatius (21 km▓, 1,844 inhabitants) are “hidden” in the north of the Lesser Antilles, east of the Virgin Islands.
Discovered in 1499 by Alfonso de Ojeda, Curašao became Dutch in 1527, British in 1634, and Dutch again in 1816. In the 17th century other islands became Dutch: St. Maarten in 1631, Bonaire, Aruba, and St. Eustatius in 1636, and Saba in ca. 1640. The West Indian Company (WIC), established in 1635, closed down in 1791. In 1816, after the Napoleonic period, Dutch rule was restored on the islands. In 1948 the name Netherlands Antilles was introduced. Since 1954 the Netherlands Antilles are autonomous but remain in the framework of the kingdom of the Netherlands.
Christianity, as in most Central and South American countries, arrived with the conquistadors. RCath were the first to reach the region. The Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk (NHK) followed in 1635. Efforts to convert the Indians from Catholicism to the Reformed faith failed. The Synod of Dordrecht (1618-1619) had accepted only adult baptism of “heathen”, and few Indian children were prepared to follow catechetical lessons. The labor force was enlarged by the importation of more and more African slaves. The WIC’s economic interests needed to be satisfied. The NHK, being more a WIC chaplaincy than a regular denomination, had little freedom of initiative and demonstrated nearly no opposition to slavery. The Dutch were among the last in the Caribbean region to abolish slavery in 1863.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the NHK in Curašao, Aruba, and Bonaire was transformed into the Protestant Church of Curašao, Aruba, and Bonaire respectively. In 1968, responding to the new situation, these three churches adopted a new church order by which they became the Protestant Church of the Netherlands Antilles. The development in St. Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius was different. The NHK disappeared on these islands because most people did not speak Dutch any longer but only English. Presb tried, without success, to take over the heritage of the NHK. Today Protestantism is represented by the Meth, especially in St. Maarten and St. Eustatius, and the Angl, especially in Saba. Reformed people attend their services.

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