16 Nov 2006

Samoa Lands and Titles court ruling against family church to be challenged

8:35 am on 16 November 2006

A Lands and Titles court ruling in Samoa ordering the demolition of a new church belonging to the Voice of Christ church, will be challenged early next year.

The court president, Tagaloa Sale Kerslake, granted leave for the appeal against the decision to be heard following a hearing of an application by the appellant, Ale Nofoa'iga, a high ranking orator and church member.

The court in June had ruled to demolish and remove the church when a complaint was filed against its construction by Ale Vena, another high ranking matai of the same village.

He told the court that he supports and respects the freedom of people to worship.

But he argued the church should be constructed further in-land away from the village and not close to the traditional meeting ground or malae-fono.

However, the appellant is asking the court to re-consider the decision as there are three other main-line churches which

have already been built and operate in the same vicinity as his church.