17 May 2016

Pacific churches group urges dialogue with Islam

8:27 pm on 17 May 2016
Catholic Cathedral in Apia in Samoa. church, christian

Catholic Cathedral in Apia in Samoa Photo: RNZI/ Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

The Pacific Conference of Churches says dialoguing with other religions was a key resolution at its most recent assembly, in the wake of calls in Samoa to ban Islam.

The Secretary General of the Samoa Council of Churches, Reverend Ma'auga Motu, said the country's constitution must more clearly recognise Christianity and that Islam should be banned.

He said Islam poses a threat, despite only 0.03 percent of the country professing to be Muslim at the 2001 census.

But the General Secretary of the PCC, the region's grouping of Christian denominations, Reverend Francois Pihaatae, argued that the focus needs to be on dialogue.

"To create first that space where everybody can come in and discuss and dialogue," he said.

"But they have the right to do the decision but before that we have to first look at what our faith, as Christians, is telling us."

Francois Pihaatae said where he lived in Fiji, there were many Muslims who were peaceful contributors to the country.

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