The territory of Suriname was inhabited by Arawak and Carib Amerindians when it was first colonized by the British, in the 17th century. In 1667, the Dutch took over from the British, in exchange for New Amsterdam (now New York). Slaves were imported from Africa to work in the sugar plantations. The Dutch abolished slavery only in 1863, and brought in large numbers of workers from the East Indies and India. Suriname became independent in 1975. A third of the population emigrated to the Netherlands. The 1980s were marked by military coups, violence, and the insurgency of the Maroons, descendants of slaves living in the interior. After a period of frequent political changes, the elections of 2000 brought into power a more stable government. Suriname's economy depends on bauxite, of which the country has large deposits, and gold mining. There are good prospects for oil production. Protestant churches were established in Suriname in the 18th century, and the Catholic Church followed in the 19th century. The Moravian Church is the oldest and largest Protestant church. The Catholics and Protestants have formed a Committee of Churches, which is the national ecumenical body. There are several smaller Pentecostal and Evangelical churches.