Biblical Sabbath and the International Dateline change

Officials of the Seventh Day Adventist church explain their position in relation to the time zone change during a press conference

When Samoa wokes up on the morning of Saturday 31st December, it found itself sharing the same day of the week, Saturday 31 December with the countries such as NZ and Australia the majority of other Pacific island countries.

Samoa time moved forward by a whole 24 hours having skipped Friday 30th December entirely.

The change is the result of government’s plans to change the positioning of the International Date Line in relation to Samoa.

In doing so, Samoa is now in the eastern hemisphere in terms of reckoning of time, together with it’s near neighbours and trading partners. For most purposes, the change will have no practical effect on people’s everyday lives.

But by sharing the same time zones with these countries, the conduct of business and other relations with Samoa’s closest partners and neighbours, not to mention travel will be more convenient and less disruptive, reasons given for the change.

For the Christian community, however, the change has implications for the two recognized weekly days of worship, Sunday on the first day of the week, and the Biblical Sabbath on the seventh.

Sunday worship will continue uninterrupted for the majority even though Sunday will have moved from the first day of the week to the seventh and last day. For those like Seventh Day Adventists, who observe the Biblical Sabbath however, the change will present challenges because of the read more

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