19 May 2016

Constitution change in Samoa a 'dangerous' idea

7:49 am on 19 May 2016

A Samoan academic has warned that it could be a dangerous move to prohibit a religion in Samoa's constitution.

Samoa government building, Apia.

Samoa government building, Apia. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, has promised the Samoa Council of Churches that he would consider a move to further entrench Christianity in the country's Constitution.

However the council wants to go further and ban Islam.

Professor Iati Iati from the University of Otago said the pervasiveness of Christianity in Samoa was one of the reasons for the country's stability, and the faith is fully integrated into the political and cultural structures.

But he said Samoa would be treading down a dangerous path to ban other faiths.

"I think the writers of the Samoa constitution were wise beyond their years and I don't think the government should be meddling with the constitution. I think it's pretty good as it is."