10 May 2011

Samoa churches urged to help fight rise in violent crime

1:59 pm on 10 May 2011

Churches in Samoa are being encouraged to try and combat growing violence in the community after a series of killings, including one of a lay preacher.

Three men are facing charges in relation to the death of the Reverend Fa'aesea Opetaia Lui, who was allegedly attacked by men who'd been drinking alcohol at Vaoala village.

Violence and youth is at the top of the agenda of the annual conference of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa this week.

Our correspondent Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, says the church's Secretary General, Dr Iusitone Salevao, is urging the church to rethink its role in communities, and its influence on parishioners.

"That's what the Secretary General of the Congregational Christian Church has said in the local paper, that this is where the Church also (needs) to reconsider its role with three murders in one week, then there must have been something wrong. And then the church needs to reconsider its role, to giving spiritual guidance for people here."

Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says the maximum penalty for murder is life imprisonment.