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By Moneth G. Deposa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Mariana Variety, Nov. 5) - An international non-profit Christian ministry wants to open a museum promoting creationism on island.

Last week, the Answers in Genesis Group (AIG) led by its president and founder Dr. Ken Ham met with Gov. Benigno R. Fitial and Press Secretary Charles P. Reyes Jr. who said the administration supports the proposal.

AIG’s US$27 million, 60,000-square foot Creation Museum in Florence, Kentucky opened in May "to bring the pages of the Bible to life."

The AIG officials were here to conduct a seminar at Eucon International School, a private Christian school.

"Religion, education, and commerce and tourism -- these are the elements that the AiG Group proposes to bring to the CNMI by establishing a base of operations here," Reyes said, adding that the project will be done in coordination with Eucon’s Dr. Christian Wei. "The group is considering the establishment of a creationist museum -- a form of destination enhancement -- in the CNMI which the governor supports," Reyes said.

According to Wei, the museum will be patterned after the Kentucky facility which has "animatronic" dinosaurs, a planetarium, and a special effects theater as well as fossil and mineral collections.

"We are planning to combine the Creation Museum and camp together so that we can serve the public and tourists," Wei told Variety. "With this combination, we will be able to combine education and entertainment and attract more tourists to the island."

Wei said the CNMI lacks "attractions." "Many people desire entertainment so we need to provide that to attract tourists, help the economy here and also to promote the idea of Creationism," he added.

The camp, for its part, will attract students from Asian countries who want to learn English, Wei said.

He said Eucon will offer English as second language classes for children, teenagers, adults and even families.

According to Wei, the Rawlings Foundation in Kentucky will fund the museum project on Saipan in partnership with the AiG Group.

Wei said AIG will need 20 acres of land for the project.

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