Samoa officially becomes a Christian state following amendments in its constitution.
All 43 members of the Parliament voted in favor of a bill which declared Samoa as a Christian nation, according to Pacific Islands Report.
Samoa is a predominantly Christian state with 98% of its population following the teachings of Jesus. Its Constitution already had a reference to Christianity but the representatives wanted to make it official that Christianity dominates all other religions in the nation.
According to its Constitution’s preamble, the Samoan government should conduct itself “within the limits prescribed by God’s commandments,” and its society is “based on Christian principles.” These wordings are common in other country’s preamble, even those which are not Christian, The Diplomat reports.
Article 1 of the Constitution declared that “Samoa if founded by God.” After the amendment, it will now use,”Samoa is a Christian nation founded of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
Government leaders decided to make these changes in the Constitution to prevent outside forces from influencing changes in their society.
One member of the Parliament said, “We need to make decisions that will reflect that we are a Christian country. If other countries push us to make laws to allow same sex marriage, we have to say no because that will not show that we are a Christian country,” reports Premier.
Attorney General, Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff, clarified that declaring Samoa as a Christian nation will not interfere with a non-Christian’s beliefs. “So while the national religion is now confirmed as Christianity, the individual freedom of religion of all citizens within our nation remains intact.”
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Malielegaoi said religious wars are prevalent in the world and some even resulted to civil wars within countries. That’s why, he believes that the government should make the necessary legal actions to prevent religious tensions from starting.
Pireportorg. (2017). Pireportorg. http://www.pireport.org/articles/2017/06/08/constitutional-amendment-passes-samoa-officially-becomes-christian-state
Grant wyeth, the diplomat. (2017). The Diplomat. http://thediplomat.com/2017/06/samoa-officially-becomes-a-christian-state/
Premier. (2017). Premier. https://www.premier.org.uk/News/World/Samoa-officially-becomes-a-Christian-state