By Sasha Pei-Silovo – EM TV, Port Moresby
A recently build Seventh Day Adventist Church on Anuta Island, in the Temotu Province of Solomon Islands, has been demolished by angry locals.
The locals claim that the island’s traditional hierarchy system was not adhered to; and have gone as far as forcing followers of the SDA faith to vacate the island immediately.
Anuta Island is predominately comprised of Anglicans and this is believed to be one of the reasons compelling the chief of the island to have ordered for the tearing down of the church.
In an interview with local daily, Solomon Star, SDA Pastor and Solomon Islands Mission Coordinator, Irving Vagha, claimed that the island’s Anglican priest had joined the locals to demolish the church.
Also speaking to the Solomon Star on the matter was Putanakipenu Arikifaka, son of the first chief of Anuta Island. He stated that the SDA followers were told not to construct a church building; but to instead, conduct their worship within their homes.
Arikifaka remains hostile on the matter and said: “We are chasing them out from the island. They should listen to us while living on the island. We have our own laws. We only listen to our chiefs. We [do] not even recognise the government… we are asking all Adventist members living on the Island to… leave on any available transport that reaches the island this month.”
SDA officials made known their wishes to reconcile with the islanders with the president of the Solomon Islands Seventh Day Adventists also intending to meet with the Anglican Church.