Church cancels Christmas event
The measles epidemic in Samoa has compelled the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (L.D.S.) to pull the plug on their annual ‘Island Christmas’ event.
The L.D.S. Public Affairs’ spokesperson, President Price Sa’u, told the Samoa Observer that the government’s declaration of a state of emergency compelled them to cancel the event due to the ban on public gatherings and its risks of infection.
“December is the month of the event and we planned to be on the 13th up to the 23rd of December to do the event,” he said.
“But since the government issued a state of emergency in the country the church’s public affairs decided to cancel the event for this year. We decided to support the government to lessen the spread of measles and this is why we have to miss this year.”
The church celebrates the event to mark the birth of Jesus Christ with members of the other local churches invited to join them.
“We invited other church members to come together to celebrate the birth of the king who is Jesus Christ,” he added.
Mr Sa’u said all the participating churches, performers and special guests have been advised of the cancellation and the reason behind it.
“We call up the people who we have invited to perform on the day, ministers of other churches that we invited and apologised to them because the event is cancelled this year,” he added.
It is hoped members of the public including the participants understand the reason behind the event’s cancellation, said Mr Sa’u.
This year the event’s organisers planned to showcase a new feature, but that will not be possible due to its cancellation.
“Unfortunately it has been canceled, but we have planned to do more than just lights and other things,” he said, while emphasizing that it is important to put the health and lives of the people first.