25 Aug 2011

Pacific Conference of Churches concerned over Fiji Methodists

1:05 pm on 25 August 2011

The General Secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches is concerned that leaders of the Methodist Church in Fiji were told to stand down by the interim government ahead of their annual conference, that was to start this week, and told not to talk about politics.

The military regime banned the church's meeting for the third year in a row because the church leaders would not comply with orders to stand down.

The former head of the Methodist Church, Josateki Koroi, and the Deputy General Secretary, Tevita Banivanua, say it is important to discuss politics in the church.

The PCC's Fe'iloakitau Tevi says the discussion of social issues is the mainstay of the Methodist Church.

"That is the bread and butter of the church. Yes. The church has to stand up on social justice issues. There's a fine line between social justice issues and being political in a country and meddling with political affairs - that's where one differentiates the integrity of the church."

Reverend Tevi says it is up to the Methodist Church and the interim government to settle the issue.