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Samoan church remains defiant as PM states tax to stay

Congregational Christian Church parishioners

Apia, SAMOA — The Congregational Christian Church of Samoa says their defiant stance against the government's taxing of ministers won't change in the near future.

The church has responded to a letter from the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi telling them the law will stand by saying if "they have to carry the cross, they will carry the cross".

The church General Secretary Reverend Vavatau Taufao told KHJ News that they had received a written reply from government to their concerns in which it was made known the new law will stand including legal ramifications if not obeyed.

Mr Taufao said the move belittles ministers who are not employees but serve the church.

Rev Taufao said ministers agree to serve in the congregation and the congregation agrees to take care of the minister, including housing and voluntary monetary offerings.

He said nothing can be done about the issue until the next meeting of the governing body, scheduled for next year.