Samoan PM pro­poses changes in con­sti­tu­tion

Fiji Sun - - World News -

Apia: Samoa’s coun­cil of churches has wel­comed the Prime Min­is­ter’s call to re­view the re­li­gious free­dom pro­vi­sions of the con­sti­tu­tion.

Tuilaepa Sailele Maliel­e­gaoi re­cently said the coun­try’s supreme law may be changed to recog­nise Chris­tian prin­ci­ples and teach­ings, not just in the pre­am­ble. How­ever, the sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the Samoa Coun­cil of Churches, Rev­erend Ma’auga Motu, said he would go a step fur­ther and ban Is­lam from en­ter­ing Samoa. He said even though most Samoans are Chris­tian, Is­lam poses a fu­ture threat to the coun­try. “We are not going too far, no,” Rev­erend Motu said. “We are still want­ing our own peo­ple to be pre­vented from this kind of in­flu­ence, even though there are so many peo­ple who are good peo­ple but still there are some dan­ger­ous peo­ple among them who might come and threaten our peace.”

The con­sti­tu­tion pro­tects the right to prac­tice any re­li­gion but doesn’t rule out the es­tab­lish­ment of an of­fi­cial state re­li­gion. But Tuila’epa said Samoa is a Chris­tian­ity-based coun­try and that goes to­gether with Samoan cul­tures and tra­di­tions. There is a small mus­lim pop­u­la­tion in Samoa that gather at a mosque and there is the Samoa Mus­lim League based near Apia.

Samoan PM Tuilaepa Sailele Maliel­e­gaoi.

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