21 May 2015

Samoa Church fears impact of court challenges

7:35 pm on 21 May 2015
Children's white Sunday in Samoa

Children's white Sunday in Samoa Photo: RNZI / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

The leaders of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa fears more court action over one of its decisions will open the flood gates to more legal challenges.

The general secretary of the church, Iutisone Salevao, says accusations of a breach of natural justice and human rights over the removal of an elder could result in the church policies to be challenged.

Last week Samoa's Supreme Court, re-instated reverend Kerita Reupena, two months after the church's elders committee had removed him from his position in a Brisbane church.

He says challenges could come from gay or women ministers if the breach of natural justice and human rights claim is upheld.

He says anyone, including the church's ministers, are under the law, but the running of the church and its decisions involving ordained ministers must be dealt with by church authorities and not a court of law.

The church is holding its annual meeting this week in Samoa