24 Sep 2013

Pacific President of Mormon Church rejects Samoan language ban

3:08 pm on 24 September 2013

The President of the Church of Latter Day Saints for the Pacific, Elder James Hamula, says the Samoan language or any other ethnic language has not been banned by the church.

A group of Samoan Mormons from Brisbane met with Samoa's prime minister recently over a ban prohibiting Samoan language worship services.

But Elder Hamula told reporters that using the Samoan language by church members in Brisbane is not prohibited and he dismissed the reports.

He added that news of the ban came from a small group of Samoan church members who were unhappy about a 2007 decision to re-organise their congregations in Brisbane.

Elder Hamula says multicultural membership services are conducted in English but a translator was always present to translate for the several Samoans who do not understand English.

President Hamula says respecting the rights of people and allowing them to choose their own language in a services is paramount to the church.

He is due to meet with prime minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi.