Religious freedom upheld in American Samoa

The Lands and Titles Appeals Court in American Samoa has ruled that everyone in Samoa is free to practice the religion of their choice.

The judge overturned an earlier ruling, by a lower court, which upheld a ban by Salailua village chiefs on members of a Bible study group.

The village council allows only three church denominations - the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa, Methodist, and the Catholic Church.

But the Lands and Titles Appeals Court has ruled that the village council prohibition against the entry of new churches is unconstitutional, and therefore void.