Latter Day Saints deny Samoan language ban

The President of the Church of Latter Day Saints for the Pacific, Elder James Hamula, says the Church has not put a ban on the use of the Samoan language.

He said 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.

However lawyer, Olinda Woodroffe, who is representing a group of Samoans from five Mormon wards in Brisbane, says the church does not allow its members to use anything other than English during worship.

She says a 2007 court decision proves that.

“Is he not aware of the decision of the Federal Magistrate Courts in Australia where no one of the Mormon church denied to the court that they stopped the people from continuing their worship in Samoan?”

Woodroffe says the judge found members’ ability to worship in Samoan had been removed by the church, but doing so did not undermine their human rights.

After consulting with both groups, the prime minister of Samoa, Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, has emphasised the importance of ensuring that the dispute resolution process now be allowed to progress without further Government intervention, and that justice be allowed to take its course. 

The Government will not comment further on the case until the matter has been resolved.

Hamula is due to meet with Samoan prime minister.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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