Many members of the wider E.F.K.S church do not support their elders’ decision to stop their faifeaus from registering as tax payers, says a senior member of the E.F.K.S church in Alamagoto.
Lay preacher and former secretary for the E.F.K.S Church in Alagamagoto, Leta’a Tanielu Maiava says that contrary to what C.C.C.S General Secretary, Reverend Vavatau Taufao says, he believes there are many members who feel frustrated and discouraged with the church elders’ decision.
“As a senior member of the church, I’m very embarrassed at the stance the church is taking.
My concern is that that I know that that a lot of people do not support this move by the elders with their instructions to the faifeau not to register as taxpayers.
“I know I will cop a lot of flak for this, but I also know that I must voice my own opinion because it sounds like it is the whole church going against the Government – it’s not,” he said, in an interview with Samoa Observer.
Leta’a said current stand-off between his church and the government is a result of overlapping between two institutions, which should not happen.
“If the elders or the leaders of the church wish to be involved in politics – leave your parishes and go into parliament where they can voice their political views but don’t mix church and politics.”
To encourage the faifeau in their churches to break the law is morally and ethically wrong, added the lay preacher and former secretary for the E.F.K.S Church in Alagamagoto.
“The bible clearly tells us that if you break one commandment, you break all of them. For them to say to the faifeau ‘don’t pay your taxes’ is encouraging them to break the law, yet they preach integrity and honesty. You can’t say one thing and do another - they are condoning the breaking of the law. There is no difference between being punished for a crime of stealing and being punished for not paying your taxes.”