Prince Ata baptised in Mormon church despite king’s repeated requests to postpone ceremony

Prince Ata and His Majesty King Tupou VI

His Majesty King Tupou VI’s second son, Prince Ata, has been baptised as a Mormon in Hawai’i, according to a leading figure of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Hon. Semisi Sika, a leading figure of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Tonga, confirmed the baptism of Prince Ata for Kaniva News, but declined to comment when we asked him about the relationship between the king and his son following the baptism.

The move, described by Hon. Sika as “absolutely surprising,” comes after repeated attempts by His Majesty to persuade his son to postpone the ceremony.

Last year the king sent his royal guards and the former Prime Minister of Tonga to persuade Prince Ata to stop his baptism.

Kaniva News understands the Prince had insisted on being baptised.

We have been unable to obtain confirmation or comment from the palace.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the formal name of the Mormon Church. Members are also known as LDS.

Hon. Sika, who is also chair of Parliament’s Whole House Committee, said the news about the baptism was absolutely surprising and he did not know who arranged it.

He said “his understanding” was that the ceremony had been postponed since last year so the king and the queen could attend the ceremony.

When the Prince’s baptism was postponed last year at the king’s request, Hon. Sika told us Prince Ata had continued to attend church services as part of his preparation for a Mormon baptism to be carried out when their Majesties felt ready.

It is understood that Prince Ata has also spent a lot of time socially with members of the Mormon Church

Last year’s ceremony

Prince Ata, the fourth in line to the Tongan throne wanted to be baptised into the Mormon Church last year, but before the baptism took place His Majesty found out and sent his royal guards to intervene and stopped the service in the LDS church in Havelu.

The prince sent away the royal guards, but the king sent the Former Prime Minister, Lord Tu’ivakano, to persuade him to stop his baptism.

The prince refused to listen to the Prime Minister, but after the Mormon leaders intervened Ata finally agreed to postpone the ceremony.

The main points

  • His Majesty King Tupou VI’s second son, Prince Ata, has been baptised as a Mormon in Hawai’i, according to a leading figure of theChurch of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
  • The baptism comes after repeated attempts by His Majesty to persuade his son to postpone the ceremony.
  • Last year the king sent his royal guards and the former Prime Minister of Tonga to persuade Prince Ata to stop his baptism.
  • Kaniva News has been unable to obtain confirmation or comment from the palace.

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