CHURCH ASKS FRENCH POLYNESIANS NOT TO SELL THEIR LAND, RESPECT MAOHI LANGUAGE

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Papeete (Tahitipresse/PINA Nius Online, 16 August 2001) - The 117th synod of the Evangelical Church (Protestant) has asked French Polynesians not to sell their land.

It also called for respect for the maohi (Polynesian) language.

The church's higher council also asked its members not to combine both religious and political functions, so that that they can express ideas "in complete freedom."

Concerning the new French abortion law to be implemented in French Polynesia, the official statement said: "The higher council is opposed to abortion in French Polynesia. However, a law protecting women, within the limits of human dignity, is much needed."

On France's previous nuclear testing in French Polynesia, it said: "The higher council requests France to maintain the scientific monitoring of the two atolls (Moruroa and Fangataufa) to avoid any problems in the future. The higher council also asks France to inform Moruroa workers on the causes of their diseases and the consequences for their children."

The church leadership also said that France must recognize the situation former workers with diseases related to the nuclear tests face and compensate them with financial aid.

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