Solomon Islands churches call for peace, church members disciplined for looting

Solomon Island Churches issue a call for dialogue as local media report they are disciplining their members for looting during unrest. ADF forces with troops from PNG and NZ are supporting the local police in keeping the peace.


From the Anglican Church of Melanesia

Church leaders in the Solomon Islands, under the umbrellas of Solomon Islands Christian Association (SICA) and Solomon Islands Full Gospel Association (SIFGA) submitted a letter to the Prime Minister and the Premiers of Malaita province and Guadalcanal to call for dialogue and conversation between and with key persons.

The church leaders believe that entering into dialogue and deep, honest and transparent conversation is the one and best way forward. This will avoid mistrust and suspicion, and build and nurture trust, confidence and healthy relationships.

The letter says that “dialogue is an integral aspect of all our cultures. It is also part of the being of the triune god, and is central to our faith traditions.”

The church leaders have entrusted the Archbishop of the Anglican church of Melanesia, his grace Leonard Dawea, to assume the leadership role in any such dialogue and conversation.

They admit that most of those who took part in the illegal and destructive activities are members of churches in and around Honiara, which shows the need to do more beyond the walls of church buildings.

They call upon all peace-loving people of the Solomon Islands to continue to pray for our country, and to do life-affirming and life-giving actions wherever they are.

From the Solomon Star News site

Mainline churches have reportedly begun disciplining its members for allegedly taking part in the looting in Chinatown and Kukum commercial centers last week.

This means those who took part in the looting and rioting are being ex-communicated.

As such, they will not be taking part in any formal programs of the churches. The defaulting members are said to be largely from the South Sea Evangelical Church [SSEC] as well as the Seventh-Day Adventists Church (SDA).

These members were allegedly from the Milestone, Kobito and other outback settlements in east Honiara.

The members were allegedly seen carrying large items such as chainsaws, outboard motors, large solar panels and television screens from the burning buildings, according to church members who also live in these areas.

It is not clear whether the stolen items would be returned to the owners.