Asia Pacific

Samoa’s PM defends use of Scientology resources for schools

Monday, May 20th, 2019

Samoa’s Prime Minister says using teaching resources based on the works of the Scientology founder, Ron Hubbard, does not mean accepting his religious beliefs. Tuila’epa confirmed that the learning method known as ‘Study Technology’ was being trialled in six schools as a means to curb the decline in literacy, especially in primary schools. Read more

New Anglican Archbishop announced for Polynesia

Monday, November 12th, 2018

The Rev Fereimi Cama has been elected as the next Anglican archbishop of Polynesia. He will, therefore, become Archbishop and Primate, or joint leader of The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. Continue reading

More Nauru children moved to Australia – New Zealand solution rejected

Monday, November 5th, 2018

Australia’s Morrison government has dismissed a fresh bid by a Senate crossbencher to resettle refugees in New Zealand, but continues to transfer children from Nauru to Australia, with two more families leaving on Friday. There are now only 35 refugee children on Nauru, with more expected to leave in the coming days. Fifty minors have Read more

Patricia Fox to leave Philippines

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

Patricia Fox, an Australian nun who battled a government bid to expel her from the Philippines after she angered President Rodrigo Duterte, said Wednesday (Oct 31) she will leave rather than face certain arrest and deportation. Continue reading

Manus refugee nominated for human rights award

Monday, October 29th, 2018

A Manus Island refugee has been nominated for an international human rights award. Abdul Aziz Muhamat fled persecution in Sudan only to be detained by Australia in Papua New Guinea, where he became a spokesperson for hundreds of men held there for five years. Continue reading

Archbishop apologises for mistakes but poverty still a concern

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

The archbishop of Fiji has admitted he had made some mistakes in the statistics he used in his recent statement. The figures were quoted in the church’s newsletter, The Proclaimer, in the main article titled “Pre-election homily reflection on economic justice.” “My sincere apologies, my statistics on poverty and VAT was based on Warden Narsey’s study Read more

Family violence – Council of Churches insulted by report’s findings

Thursday, October 18th, 2018
family violence

Samoa’s National Council of Churches has described as “insulting” an Office of the Ombudsman report that blamed them for exacerbating family violence. The report says: Traditional village councils and the church have been complicit in maintaining the veil of silence on the issue The church is generally failing in its role to prevent family violence Read more

Churches silent on latest move to collect unpaid tax

Monday, October 15th, 2018

Samoa’s National Council of Churches and Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (CCCS) have declined to comment on the Government’s move to collect unpaid taxes directly from Church Ministers’ personal bank accounts. General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, Reverend Maauga Motu, told the Weekend Observer they remain neutral. “This is a sensitive matter so Read more

Mental health workers expelled from Nauru

Monday, October 15th, 2018

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has confirmed it has ceased mental health work with refugees on Nauru after the island’s Government told the organisation it was no longer required. MSF said it was informed on Friday 5 October by the Government of Nauru that it was no longer required and terminated its provision of mental health Read more

Question agreed for Bougainville’s independence referendum

Monday, October 15th, 2018

Leaders from Bougainville and Papua New Guinea have finally agreed to the question that will be asked in next year’s independence referendum. The referendum – tentatively scheduled for next June – will mark the end of a 20-year peace process that followed the end of the Bougainville civil war in the 1990s. The people of Read more