13 May 2009

Christian church leaders in Solomons express worry at militants converting to Islam

1:55 pm on 13 May 2009

Christian churches in Malaita in Solomon Islands' say conversions of what they believe are former militants to Islam pose a threat to the social stability of the country.

It is estimated there are up to 350 Muslims living in the Solomons, mainly in Malaita, where the vast majority are Christians.

Many of the former militants involved in the violence that ended six years ago remain unemployed and it's these people church leaders say Muslim leaders are targetting.

The Catholic bishop in Malaita, Chris Cardone, says the actions of these leaders are worrying.

"Some Muslims have come in to logging companies. They seem to target poorly educated people who happen to be some of the militants from the tension times and that has caused some instability in the eastern parts of Malaita."

The Anglican Bishop of Malaita, Sam Sahu, shares the same concern.

Muslims in the Solomons would not comment, but a leader, Musa bin Marsan, had said earlier there are no tensions.