26 Aug 2011

Fiji Methodists must stop siding with ethno-nationalist politics - says CCF

2:12 pm on 26 August 2011

The Citizens Constitutional Forum in Fiji is calling for the Methodist Church to keep politics out of the church.

The interim government has banned all Methodist Church public meetings in an effort to stymie political discussion.

These restrictions follow the refusal of three church leaders to stand down ahead of the church's annual meeting, which the government cancelled this week - for the third consecutive year.

The CEO of the Citizens Constitutional Forum, Akuila Yabaki, says there needs to be a move away from the politics of the late 1980s in the church.

"The politics that have inflicted the church over the years is the siding with ethno-nationalist politics. For instance the last government that was ousted made some racist decisions and that is not the kind of party that a church based on Christian premises should be too close to. The church should be free to belong to any parties."

The Reverend Yabaki suggests the leaders who are under restrictions should consider taking a sabbatical or studying abroad.