Samoan and Tongan LDS Missionaries Assaulted In PNG

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  • Apia Samoa LDS Church temple at the church centre at Peseta
    Apia Samoa LDS Church temple at the church centre at Peseta

A Samoan and Tongan missionaries at the Lae Mission of the Church of Latter Day Saints, LDS, in Papua New Guinea, are recovering from a recent violent attack on them.

The church men were kidnapped and assaulted on Friday 11 October 2019 by a group of people.

The violence was confirmed in an official statement yesterday, sent to the LDS Church President Sapele Faalogo (Area Seventy), from media officials of the church in Utah, USA.

The statement described the attack as ‘thankfully rare’ and it occurred in a rural area outside the city of Madang, as the missionaries were settling into their apartment for the night.

The statement did not elaborate on the extent of the injuries but “both young men were taken to the hospital and are expected to recover.”

“Police have arrested five men accused of taking part in the attack, however, as a precaution, the missionaries have been moved from the area,” according to the church statement.

“We pray for the comfort and well-being of both missionaries and their

families as they recover from this ordeal."

Local LDS members were anxious at first when unverified reports started to filter home, of the attack on the island missionaries.

Mission President in Samoa, President Ho Ching could only confirm that he as aware of the incident.

His concerns were also for the family of the Samoan missionary and if they were told of the situation in Papua New Guinea.

The names of the victims have not be disclosed.

The violence comes shortly after a world wide general conference announcement of the Church for 8 new temples to be built throughout the world.

One of temples is to be built in Papua New Guinea in the Pacific Region.  Three more are in Africa, Asia and South America.

The rest are approved for construction in four other American state including one in the church heartland in Utah.