Interior of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Apia overlay
Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Apia


The church is central to the Samoan way of life and interwoven with Samoa (the Samoan way).

Christianity arrived in the islands in 1830 by way of missionaries sent from the London Missionary Society. The Christian faith integrated with Samoans' beliefs at the time in gods for the sun, earth, heavens and sea.

Today, most Samoans identify as Christian and attend church services at least once a week. Sundays are observed as a national day of rest.

In select villages, Samoans observe a compulsory evening prayer curfew called Sa, or sacred, normally between 6-7pm. This is marked by a bell or blowing of a conch shell and lasts for 10 to 20 minutes, ending on a third bell.

Avoid walking through villages or crossing the road during Sa. Vehicles can not turn into or exit driveways within the village at this time. 

Samoa has many churches, which are built and maintained through the generosity of congregation members.