The Human Rights Day 2017 theme “Faataua le isi ou uso a tagata” echoed across Manono-tai on Sunday.
The population of the small island turned up to different church services which was held in commemoration of Human Rights Day, a day in which the world celebrates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, a milestone document in the history of human rights that declared to every human being right and freedoms that are fundamental to his or her development and growth.
This year’s celebrations was targeted to encourage the important role of church ministers in raising awareness about the true values and principles of human rights, its importance, application and limitations through their sermons and word of God.
A key part of this year’s celebrations was church ministers acknowledging in their sermons our responsibilities to human rights, the fundamental principles behind human rights which are equality, respect, dignity, peace, love and non-discrimination the very same principles we upheld as true Christians.
Celebrations began on Saturday with a service conducted by Pastor Papali’itele Masipau of Samoa Independent Seventh Day Adventist Church Taufusi.
He encouraged his congregation through his sermon and words of encouragement taken from Article 1 of the Declaration of Human Rights which states “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
“Christians lives not in himself but in Christ and in his neighbour. We must live through faith and in our neighbour through love, only then we will be free indeed,” he said.
Reverend Maluelue Pone of E.F.K.S. Salua Manono-Tai lead the combined service, reminded the church followers of principles upheld by human rights and Christian beliefs.
He placed emphasis on the responsibility of the human person in exercising their right and freedoms to do so in ways that respects and takes account of the rights of others. “Freedom of choice is a blessing from God, a choice not to do bad but good onto others.”
On this day like every year we are challenged to recommit ourselves to respect others in right and in dignity through small actions in our very own homes.
The church services were televised across three national TV networks including Upumana, TV1 and E.F.K.S. TV following a week of radio and community awareness programmes.