* Samoan Islands religion

Samoan Islands: Religion

Figure 1.-- These Samoan children live on the Island of Upolu. Theyb are on their way to church on Sunday morning. Most Samoan attend the church wearing white clothing. While the girl wear a dress, the boys' clothing is a mix of western style shirts and local lava-lava. Many Samoans dress like this for church. Flip-flops or bare feet are the most common choices for the footwear

Another important activity is religion. The Samoans like most Polynesians had polytheistic religion that incorporated both human and non-human gods. Ancestors might enter the pantheon. There was little outward display and formal worship ceremonies. Europeans when they first encountered the Samoans concluded that they did not have a religion. Actually the traditionalm religion paved the way for Christianity. One of the most important Samonan god, the war goddess Nafanua, prophesized that a new religion was coming that would replace the old religion and wipe out the old gods. The first Europeans to settle in Samoa were missionaries. They had a profound influence on Samoan culture. John Williams and Charles Barf (London Missionary Society) came to Samoa to introduce Christianity (1830). Most today Samoans are Christians divided among several major denominations.


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Created: 7:31 AM 1/14/2014
Last updated: 7:31 AM 1/14/2014