Abstract: Christian churches have assumed a central role in the social, economic, and political life of Sāmoa. Samoans are intensely committed to religion and express this commitment in participation in, and support for, the work of the churches. This article makes no comment on the rights of churches to seek contributions from their adherents, or of adherents to make contributions. However, the cash and labor contributed to churches has economic and social consequences for the trajectory of both village and national development. This article presents a profile of these contributions, a preliminary estimate of the scale of contributions to the Church, and an evaluation of the significance of these levels of support for the Church for Samoan village and national economies. The article also considers the sustainability of the trends outlined and some evidence of shifts in these historical patterns.
The Contemporary Pacific – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Aug 20, 2011