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Recognition of religion or belief in Samoa

According to the standards set out in the SRR, conditions for RoRB in the Independent State of Samoa are classified receptive.

Recognition of religion or belief in Samoa


  • Recognition and registration are amalgamated rather than ideally differentiated; a focus is placed on legal registration procedures for religious groups to attain the status of “charitable trust.”

  • Procedures for the registration of secular and religious entities are the same yet establishing separate procedures for registering these two types entities is advisable in order for the state to cater to the particular needs of religious entities, needs that secular entities are less likely to be concerned with.

  • The powers of village councils in controlling the religious lives of villagers and the activities of religious organisations in their territory is concerning with recent legislation in 2020 providing more power to village councils to bypass the Supreme Court on issues regarding rights of religious freedom presenting further concern.

Positive elements:

  • Freedom of religion or belief is generally upheld by the government in practice.

  • Horizontal recognition is in effect.

  • The government’s establishment of an ombudsman (but should ideally be coupled with a recognition agency).


  • Establish a revitalised recognition system that has the capacity for both existential recognition and legal registration bestowed nationwide, is offered to all belief systems and their derivatives and is bestowed at multiple levels of activity.

  • Revoke laws providing undue powers to village councils.

  • Establish a recognition agency to manage the recognition system independent of government to become dynamic.

RoRB Topic
RoRB Compliance
RoRB Classification
Country or territory
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