Church head not aware of breaches

The Methodist Church President Reverend Faulalo Leti Paaga says he is not aware of any of their churches breaching state of emergency (S.O.E.) orders.

Last week Police Commissioner Fuiavaili'ili Egon Keil said close to 70 church groups were issued with warnings and verbal notices for not complying with SOE orders on the first weekend of its enforcement. 

Statistics provided by Police last week showed 24 of the gatherings were by the Catholic Church and its affiliates; 19 Congregational Christian Church of Samoa; 15 Assembly of God Churches; seven from non-specified denominations; and four from the Methodist Church.

But Reverend Faulalo said he is not aware or advised of any Methodist Churches breaching the Government’s orders. 

"I am not aware of those four Methodist churches, we had a meeting and no reverend has come forward in having a service on the first Sunday of S.O.E., as far as I know there was no church service for all Methodist," he said.

"Well, you do not have a certain Methodist Church being mentioned so that's why I am telling you that there were no gatherings or service on that Sunday. I cannot comment any further as I do not know of such matters.”

Individuals or organisations could be hit with hefty fines if found guilty of breaching S.O.E. orders. The penalties include a fine of up to $10,000 tala if convicted or a two-year imprisonment term, according to the Police Commissioner.

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