18 May 2015

Samoa minister wins church re-instatement

8:01 am on 18 May 2015

A church minister has had his position reinstated by Samoa's Supreme Court, two months after it was stripped by the elders committee of the Congressional Christian Church.

Last week, Supreme Court chief justice Patu Falefatu Sapolu, ruled in favour of an interim injunction filed by reverend Kerita Reupena.

Melanesia church.

Court reinstates Samoa church minister Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Patu ordered that the Chairman of the church and other elders had to refrain from appointing a new Reverend Elder to replace Reverend Reupena.

The ruling means Reverend Reupena is now allowed to sit in the church's annual general assembly this week, with a 40-member delegation from the Australian state of Queensland.

The case stems from an internal dispute within the church, which Reverend Reupena's lawyer, Leulua'ialii Olinda Woodroffe, says was a breach of natural justice and human rights.

"If we allow a church to just dictate then it would be a very sad day because we do not know where the dictation stops and what other hurt will eventuate in the future because of that sort of action."