Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) members on Anuta asked to move out for defying chief’s law
MEMBERS of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) faith living on Anuta island in the far eastern Temotu province are facing immediate expulsion after defying the chief’s order in an attempt to build a church.
Reports reaching the paper said, the Adventists have been advised by the chiefs not to build an Adventist church on the island.
However, believers can only worship in their homes.
Recently members have attempted to build a Church, much to the disagreement by the chiefs. As a result the church was pulled down.
This had forced the chief to issue an order for the Adventist members to pack up and leave on any available transport this month.
Putanakipenu Arikifaka, son of Anuta’s first chief in an exclusive interview with the Solomon Star confirmed the decision and order.
Anuta is being dominated by the Anglican Church.
Mr Arikifaka said, all SDA believers living on Anuta Island are being asked to leave the island because they have disobeyed the chief’s order not to build an Adventist Church.
“We on the island have our God to worship and what the SDA community did is against the law of our chiefs.”
Mr Arikifaka said, the chief had earlier advised the believers to exercise their faith by worshiping at their homes but not to build any church complex.
“We told them that they can go ahead with their worship in their own homes but not to build a church on the island.”
However, the Adventists on the island have said to defy the chiefs’ orders and construct a church, he added.
“But now since they disobeyed our chiefly lawsby building a church, we are chasing them out from the island,” Mr Arikifaka said.
He said, Adventist community had built a church but was pulled down by orders from the first chief.
“I’m the son of the first chief. Although worship isa freedom on the island, what the Adventists are doing is not acceptable to our chiefly system.”
The chief’s son claimed the SDA community have never listen to the orders of the chiefs.
“They should listen to us while living on the island. We have our own laws.We only listen to our chiefs. We did not even recognise the government.
“In Anutawe already have a church and a God that we serve.
“Therefore, we are asking all Adventist members living on the Island to move out of the island. They will leave on any available transport that reaches the island this month,” Mr Arikifaka who visited the Solomon Star office yesterday said.
The Solomon Star which visited Anuta island last month also confirmed the Adventist church on the island was pulled down by orders of the first chief.
Solomon Islands Mission (SIM) President of the SDA Church in the country Pr George Fafale in an interview with the Solomon Star yesterday said, he was informed of the situation facing the Adventist members on the island but he is not aware about Adventist members being asked to move out of the islands.
“I was informed and made aware of issues surrounding the Adventist members on the islands.But I’m not aware about the members being ordered to leave the island.”
Pr Fafale said, since this had happened the Church will do all it can to support the members.
“I would like to assure SDA church members on the island that the SDA community in Honiara is standing by to support and accommodate you if you are all asked to leave the island,” Pr Fafale said.
The Church official said, he will try and work closely with the Anglican Church to sort out the issue on the island.
“I know the Anglican authority here and I’ll work closely with them to sort out the issues on the island.”
He said, Solomon Island is a Christian nation and all Churches in the country have worked together over the years.
A member of the Adventist Church who declined to the named has appealed to all members to remember the Adventist community on the island in their prayers.
The member added; “given the close of time we are now living in, members of the Church are expected to face challenges when it comes to worshiping their God.”
By DENVER NEWTER