The high ranking matais of Matautu Falelatai village in Samoa have banished five elderly paramount chiefs.
This came after they tried to terminate the services of the village's pastor, the Reverend Elder Tauti'aga Senara, who is the current chairman of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa.
The attempt to sack the minister was discussed in an urgent meeting of the village council last Saturday.
But one village chief, Misa Gaga'e, said the majority of the church members and the village opposed the termination.
They said Reverend Senara did nothing wrong.
The group were unhappy Reverend Senara did not support the district's letter to the Elders of the Church seeking to withdraw a decision to stand down Reverend Opapo Soana'i, a village pastor within the district of Falelatai.
That minister was Reverend Opapo Soana'i, the father of a woman that some believe has stigmata, and who was in Rome to have these marks investigated by the Catholic Church.
The banished paramount chiefs included a former vice president and judge of the Lands and Titles Court, Anae Misa Pita.