Churches

Two Churches in Samoa Were Victimized By One Coin

It appears some of those investors were a string of Christian churches in the South Pacific.

New evidence and details regarding the case surrounding One Coin have emerged, and it appears the leaders of the Ponzi scheme didn’t care who they targeted, so long as they got their money.

Samoa govt gets tougher on tax avoiding church ministers

The Congregational Christian Church is refusing to abide by a new law that requires pastors to pay income tax for the first time.

The Revenue Minister, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, said those who have been charged will likely face further charges for not paying tax between June and November.

The current charges are for the period from January to May 2018.

     

Samoa PM refuses church pleas for tax delay

The fonotele is currently in progress at the church headquarters in Malua.

On his weekly radio programme, Tuilaepa pointed out that the other churches never complained about the law requiring ministers to pay taxes.

He says the act is passed and the implementation is in progress.

Tuilaepa says the church general secretary, Reverend Vavatau Taufao, wrote to him asking to postpone the passing of the Act and give the church six months to deliberate on the issue.

Samoa schools, churches remain closed

In a report released last night by the Disaster Management Office and the Disaster Advisory Committee, following Cyclone Gita, people's safety was a priority in Samoa.

The Samoan government decided on Monday night to extend the Declaration of Disaster imposed during Gita for another 48 hours.

"Overall, the restoration of affected lifeline services and clearance of debris are progressing well," the report said.

It said there was access throughout the country and maintenance of roads, drainages and road reserves were well underway.

MP wants review of church taxes in Samoa

The law was passed last year, making the country's Head of State and church pastors pay income tax for the first time.

At the time, the prime minister said there was nothing in the Bible that prohibited church pastors from paying tax.

But this week, Laauli Leuatea Polataivao Schmidt, called for a review, saying the Congregational Church of Samoa was telling its parishes not to heed the decision until its general assembly.

Samoa to tax head of state and church ministers

The Minister of Revenue, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, said the taxes would be effective in the new financial year, starting next month.

The tax plan is opposed by the two main churches, the Methodist and the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa.

Tialavea said church ministers receiving less than $US7,500 in love offerings, or alofa, from church members would not be paying tax.

He made it clear that the proposal was openly discussed with representatives of various church organisations but the ministry had the final say.

Samoa churches help combat violence against women

The recently launched report on the state of human rights in Samoa revealed 46 percent of women, from ages of 15 to 49, have experienced some form of gender based violence.

This includes physical, mental and verbal abuse.

Suisala Mele Maualaivao of UN Women says the agency has addressed the issue but acceptance and change in the communities will not happen without the support of faith based organisations.

UNESCO's Etienne Clement says violence against women and girls is a violation of human rights.

Churches and governments in the region must take action on Climate Change

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, made the comment ahead of a lecture that will be delivered in Fiji's capital today.

The second-highest cleric in the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Sentamu is on a visit Samoa, Tonga and Fiji to lead a series of Leadership Reflections on Climate Change at the invitation of the Rev Dr Winston Halapua, the Archbishop of Polynesia.

“Climate change affects everyone: agriculture, tourism, fisheries, water, health and wellbeing," Dr Sentamu said.