11 Jul 2003

Fiji Methodist Church criticises comments from health workers

9:31 am on 11 July 2003

Fiji's Methodist Church has criticised medical authorities who said their statistics show that the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases increases sharply after big gatherings like the church's annual conference.

The Fiji Times quotes the church's general secretary, the Rev Jone Lagi, as saying they are strongly opposed to immoral conduct.

The Rev Lagi says it would be a winning strategy if the medical authorities could tell the church that they could stop the spread of STDs by stopping these large gatherings.

He says even when the use of preventive measures is advocated, there is still and increasing incidence of the diseases.

The Rev Lagi says there is a trend among some in positions of leadership to negate the church's moral position on sex.

He says the organisers of the South Pacific Games had refused an offer to distribute one thousand bibles to the thousands of athletes "for their daily moral fortification."

Two different spokespersons for the Sexually Transmitted Diseases Unit in Suva had said earlier that they had noted a sharp rise in STDs during large gatherings such as the Hibiscus Festival and the Methodist Church's annual conference.