Friday, March 19, 2010

Worrying IV

This week, the Samoan government established a Commission of Inquiry to review freedom of religion. Today, the Chair of the Samoan Council of Churches made it explicit what the aim of the review would be: limiting the competition.

Rev Fauolo said the Samoa Council of Churches started from 1971 with three main line churches; Congregational, the Methodist and the Roman Catholic.

“At that time, perhaps about 90 per cent of the population were in those three main line churches,” said the respected Revered.

“So there is thinking of SCC that we ask the government then and that we did I think 2008, to stop accepting any new religions into the country, except a religion that is applying for registration through the prime minister and under the advice of the SCC, that would be the only opening for a new church to come in.”

Rev Fauolo said the presence of new religious groups can upset social relations. He is also unsure about the way some of them seem to operate.

As for the fundamental right of people to believe whatever they like, Fauolo says that "disobeying the will of the will of God is sin". So much for that, then.

The inquiry is stacked with religious leaders. Samoans should be very, very afraid.