Churches in Samoa deny they have not helped cyclone victms

Many have expressed concerns about the perceived absence of any real relief assistance from the mainstream churches since Cyclone Evan, according to an editorial in the Sunday Observer last month.

“Apart from the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints and the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the other mainline churches – as well as the so-called charismatic churches – have been relatively quiet,” said Mata’afa Keni Lesa.

The editorial provides comments from a number of readers claiming the mainstream churches have been doing little to support communities that have been affected by the cyclone.

Samoa’s Council of Churches has dismissed public criticism. The council’s general secretary, Reverend Maauga Motu, says many denominations, including Catholic, Methodist and Congregational churches, are helping out with relief efforts.

“We are among the leaders who are sorting out the most ruined people. And they are giving out monetary gifts to them, the amounts to help them with their rebuilding (of) their churches and the houses for the people. They are doing this for everyone who was devastated, food as well. They are giving out money, food, clothes and the prayer.”

Earlier press releases from the Catholic aid agency, Caritas, said efforts were being made in New Zealand and locally to support communities that had been affected by the cyclone.

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News category: Asia Pacific.

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