The Bahamas is constituted by a group of islands southeast of Florida (USA) and northeast of Cuba. Arawak Indians lived in the islands before the arrival of the Europeans. British settlement began in 1647 and the islands became a British colony in 1783. The Bahamas achieved independence in 1973. Although a developing country, Bahamas has a strong economy based on tourism and international banking and investment management. WCC member churches present in the Bahamas are the Church of the Province in the West Indies (Anglican), the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas, and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (USA). The largest Protestant church is the Baptist Union. Several Pentecostal churches from the USA are present in the Bahamas, e.g. the Church of God (Cleveland) and the Assemblies of God. The Bahamas Christian Council has a wide membership, including Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox and Pentecostals.