Church leaders call family violence Samoa’s punishment for disobeying God
Apia, SAMOA — The Chairman of the National Council of Churches, Deacon Kasiano Leaupepe, has blamed human rights for the deteriorating statistics on family violence, calling for a national day of repentance.
He has also criticised the co-education school system, saying boys and girls should be educated separately. According to Deacon Kasiano, the scourge of domestic violence is Samoa’s punishment for disobeying God.
“What has happened to Samoa and her people is because we have violated God’s ordinances. We have destroyed and ignored God’s laws, we place more emphasis on worldly laws,” he said.
“The first commandment, thou shall respect (ava) your parents so you can live longer. This has been violated, it has been destroyed. How? When human right was born, it demolished this ordinance.”
The Chairman made the comments during a session on the topic “Engaging with Religion and Faith-Based Actors to Address Family Violence” at the Ending Violence in Samoa (EViS) roundtable last week. The session was organized by Samoa’s National Human Rights Institution and U.N. Women.
Deacon Kasiano said a Samoan is known by their actions.
“A lot of people talk about love and respect, that is no longer found in many families. When a mother, father disciplines their child, the children turns around and sues them and takes them to Court. What happened to God’s law? We have broken our covenant with God.
“The lamb has died. We no longer raise our children in accordance with the scriptures that tell us to raise our children well so that when they grow up they don’t depart from it.”
Deacon Kasiano also criticised Church leaders.
“Church leaders have a role to play, you are shepherds. You are supposed to look after the flock and yet some shepherds have captured the sheep.
“The other cause of the problem is that we have not been honest in doing our work. We as church Ministers must be honest, we must never stop telling our church members what to do. Tell that father, tell that mother, remind them that while they are playing on their phones, their child is going places where he’s not supposed to go. We as Church Ministers are not referees, our role is to kneel down and pray, ask God for assistance.”
It was then the Chairman criticized the co-education school system.
“The problem started when we started to educate boys and girls together. In those days, girls and boys were educated differently. I remember one Father who cautioned me, he said ‘Kasiano you be careful for emotion.’ What is emotion? When a boy and girl rub shoulders, these feelings spring up. Why? Because they are at the same school.
“There is just too much freedom. Samoa has been affected by too much outside influence. We’ve recently commemorated the 100 years of the influenza epidemic, well guess what, domestic violence is a disease God has punished us with. This is a disease. As leaders, we need to repent. Members of the public need to repent for breaking God’s laws.”
So what does he offer as a solution?
“In my opinion, the Government should request the National Council of Churches to call a national day of repentance before God,” he said.
“If this is not done, we will never find a solution to this problem. Every village and their Church Ministers should gather on this day, a day of repentance, a day to bow before God to apologise for violating his laws.
“We need to seek God’s forgiveness for what we have done. God answers to save, God answers to heal, he answers.”