3 Aug 2012

US rates religious freedom in Pacific favourably

6:35 pm on 3 August 2012

In its annual International Religious Freedom Report, the US State Department has given mostly favourable comments for Pacific island countries.

In Samoa, the report notes that in contrast with the previous year, the Censor Board did not ban any movies because of requests from religious groups.

However, it notes occasional reports of societal abuses or discrimination in Samoa based on religious affiliation, belief or practice.

While underreported, it is common knowledge that in many villages leaders forbade individuals to belong to churches outside of the village or to exercise their right not to worship.

In Tuvalu and Kiribati, the report said there were occasional problems for religious groups viewed as outside the mainstream.