Pacific churches

$1.5m from Provincial Growth Fund means ray of hope for Pasifika church communities in Horowhenua

As for all New Zealanders, Covid-19 turned life upside down for the Pasifika congregations of three small churches in Levin. But the funding boost has provided a renewed sense of optimism for the church-goers.

The Samoan Methodist Church is one of three Pasifika churches in the town that banded together to apply for renovation funding through the government's Provincial Growth Fund.

The $1.5m was shared between it, the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa and the Free Church of Tonga.

Pacific church leaders vow to keep children safe

The Pacific Child Protection and Church Safeguarding Framework will ensure that regional churches have policies which protect children. It will also provide training for church workers on how to approach issues involving children.

Church leaders from 10 countries supported the move during a virtual meeting yesterday (Thursday).

The framework was developed after the Pacific Conference of Churches General Assembly in Auckland in 2018 noted the increased violence against children.

Role of the church crucial in the fight against NCD epidemic in the Pacific

“The role of the church and the voice of church leaders is extremely important. In the Pacific and here in Tonga, food is offered as part of hospitality. I think the issue here is what is being offered. In NZ, there was a movement in the marae for healthy kae, healthy food. We can have that here where we serve healthy cooked food, vegetables and fruits.

King Tupou VI echoed the same sentiments – laying down the challenge that without the churches co-operation, the Pacific’s push to address NCDs will be more difficult.

Pacific churches group urges dialogue with Islam

The Secretary General of the Samoa Council of Churches, Reverend Ma'auga Motu, said the country's constitution must more clearly recognise Christianity and that Islam should be banned.

He said Islam poses a threat, despite only 0.03 percent of the country professing to be Muslim at the 2001 census.

But the General Secretary of the PCC, the region's grouping of Christian denominations, Reverend Francois Pihaatae, argued that the focus needs to be on dialogue.

"To create first that space where everybody can come in and discuss and dialogue," he said.