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Editorial: Methodist Church applauded for restating its policy on politics

Editorial: Methodist Church applauded for restating its policy on politics
Methodist Church Indian Circuit members Aneeta Reuben (left) and Grace Reuben (right) with Methodist Church Women’s Fellowship members Losalini Mocelutu and Mere Baro during the 70th anniversary of the Methodist Women fellowship during the Methodist Church 2018 Festival of Praise at Furnival park in Toorak, Suva on August 14, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar
August 15
10:00 2018

The Methodist Church of Fiji must be commended for reiterating that members of its clergy are not allowed to affiliate with any political party or openly participate in political activities.

In other words, the church ministers are apolitical.

This was emphasised by Church President Reverend Epineri Vakadewavosa yesterday, who said the church’s constitution was very precise and clear on the issue.

Once a church minister decides to join a political party for election the first thing the minister has to do is to tender his or her resignation to the church.

Reverend Vakadewavosa said: “They have to resign from the church and leave the premises, vacate the premises and then pursue their dream to join a party.

“They cannot be doing both. The church does not tolerate that because it is neutral. It is for everybody.”

His explanation is crystal clear.

The church, and any other church for that matter, and their clergy members must not play politics.

There have been rumours that some are allegedly engaged in politics.

Reverend Vakadewavosa says so far there are no records of any Methodist church ministers affiliating themselves with political parties.

Churches wield a lot of influence among the people.

They have a sacred responsibility to ensure that people can exercise their democratic rights at the ballot box without fear of intimidation, coercion or force.

Churches also have a moral obligation to ensure that their members do not engage in activities that may bring harm to others.

They should focus on providing members the moral and spiritual guidance they need to make right decisions on issues, however tough they become.

If they stop playing politics then they can effectively and successfully lead the people to achieve their dreams, hopes and aspirations.

Church and politics don’t mix, history has taught us.

Attempts to mix them in the past have led us to pain and suffering.

Reverend Vakadewavosa’s message not only applies to the Methodist Church.

It applies to other churches also.

Nemani Delaibatiki

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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