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Samoa officially becomes a Christian state

Forty-three out of 49 Parliamentary representatives voted in favour of the bill which declared "the dominance of Christianity" in the nation.

The preamble of the Samoan Constitution previously claimed that the country was "founded on God" but Article 1 now addresses a specifically Christian conception of God, declaring Samoa as a "Christian nation founded of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit."

A reason behind these developments seems to be one of preventing outside forces from encouraging cultural change within the nation.

During parliamentary debates, a member stated: "We need to make decisions that will reflect that we are a Christian country. If other countries push us to make laws to allow same sex marriage, we have to say no because that will not show that we are a Christian country."

Moreover, whilst 98 percent of the Samoan people identify as Christian, it has been understood that the shift away from secularism has been driven by a fear of Islam. Despite the small Muslim population, the Secretary General of the Samoa Council of Churches, Reverend Ma'auga Motu stated that Islam should be banned from the country.

The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Malielegaoi believes that "religious wars" are playing at a global level and feels that it is the government's duty to legislate in order to prevent religious tension.

Yet, despite attempts to prevent this, difficulties could still arise between different Christian denominations within the country.

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