23 Jan 2006

Vanuatu considers registering religions and religious groups

7:42 am on 23 January 2006

Vanuatu's Minister responsible for religious affairs, George Wells, says his ministry is looking at re-introducing the registration of religions and religious groups in the country.

Mr Wells says the registration of religions was abandoned in the late 1990s.

The Minister told the Vanuatu Daily Post that he was considering re-introducing it because of the high number of religions in the country, including a number of new groups.

He said he was concerned over a number of cases where individuals and their newly introduced churches appeared to be using the entitlement to 'freedom of worship' to build personal empires.

Mr Wells said all investigations will be in close collaboration with the governing body of churches in Vanuatu.