Controversy deepens as religious statues inside church damaged


One of the statues gifted by the Catholic church that was damaged

BY Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – FRIDAY 27 JANUARY 2017: Police have charged a 34 year old man of Si’ufaga, Falelatai for damaging the statutes of Jesus and Mary gifted to the Congregational Christian Church in the village.

The Police spokesperson Lemamea Su’a Tiumalu confirmed that the young man faces unlawful damage charges and has been refrained from residing at Si’ufaga village.

It is the latest twist to the growing controversy within the village church, the church Elders who have stripped the village church minister of his ministerial duties and the congregation reported to be supporting their minister to remain despite the decision.

The church minister, Reverend Opapo Soana’i has been at odds with the church Elders since his daughter had the stigmata signs on her body on Easter last year and followed by her conversion to Catholicism and her trip to Rome accompanied by her father.

The Police spokesman said the damaged statues were discovered when Reverend Opapo Soana’i went to church in the early hours to prepare for the Sunday service.

The statues were gifts from the Catholic Church to the Si’ufaga parish and had been one of the reasons given for stripping Opapo’s ministerial duties.

The accused will appear in court 07 February to answer to the charge.