4 Dec 2007

The Catholic Church in Samoa concerned new religions eroding the nation's faith

3:19 pm on 4 December 2007

A spokesman for Samoa's Catholic archbishop says new religions are threatening to erode the country's faith.

On Friday, Samoa's head of state is due to ask for divine forgiveness of his country's sins for the first time, in a ceremony organised by the Catholic church.

Father Penitito Mauga says he expects up to 20 thousand Christians of all denominations to attend.

He says as the beliefs of the population change, it's time for the people to reaffirm their faith.

"We have a lot of ups and downs, and also the influx of the new fashions and the new philosophies that are coming into Samoa. Also we have Scientology here, but who knows, other groups like that who don't even believe in God will come also. So it's about time for us to dedicate Samoa and also the archdiocese."

Father Penitito Mauga says the traditional Samoan apology, or ifoga, will take place in front of the parliament building at Mulinuu.