“The Elders of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S.) are urging Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and his administration to reconsider the law to tax the alofa received by Church Ministers. This is the gist of a letter from the Church to Prime Minister Tuilaepa, dated 15 June 2018. The 11-page letter, written in Samoan, highlights the church’s position on the issue. It was submitted to Tuilaepa prior to their much-anticipated meeting on Monday. Do you think the Government should reconsider based on the request from the church? Adel Fruean asked in today’s Street Talk and this is what people said:
Mumu Elia55, Falelatai
I am strongly against the decision of our Government to tax our pastors, which is why I hope they would review their decision. Reason being is that the state matters are intervening with church matters. Our pastors serve the Almighty God, they do not serve themselves in a way with the work they do have no benefits on them. They are not working for the government meaning the work they do is not for the government, it is for God alone. The Government should change their minds because they are simply using force to get what they want.
Sosefina Soo46, Savaia Lefaga
I do not want the Government to make changes in the law they have already passed. In my own opinion, it is a must and it is a right for pastors to pay taxes. Our Government only wants to help the people and with the assistance of the pastor’s taxes, that will aid the development of our economy. If we all work together we can accomplish lots of things in life but if we are divided then there is no peace but just disagreements.
Lotolagi So’o55, Palisi
I support the Government’s decision in taxing pastors. I do not want the Government to reconsider. The reason is due to the fact that pastors should help the economy of Samoa in terms of the taxes they will now pay with this new law. Pastors receive money and they also have a lot of money so it should not be so hard on them to assist the people of Samoa. I am also aware that overseas countries and their pastors are taxed. That money which they will pay will go into helping our people.
Tuli Stowers,56, Leauva’a
I urge the Government to reconsider taxing pastors; it is not a right thing to do. Pastors are servants of God, meaning they only serve God and preach his will on earth along with saving souls. They do not have a certain obligation to the Government or of this world. The church and state are two separate things and so the Government should not intervene with church matters. Instead they should focus more on matters that concern the improvement the livelihoods of the Samoan people.
Mareko Mareko58, Saleufi
I hope the Government changes their mind and not tax our pastors. It is not right for them to do this. We are a Christian state but what they are doing is against the church and has involved them in matters of state. I truly believe that our Government should head the request sent by pastors to reconsider the enforcing of this law on servants of God. I strongly want our country to be at peace and not resort into any disagreements.