Church Disappoints PM

A letter circulated to all the 56 Methodist Church divisions has disappointed Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. He said that everything that the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) people lied about
25 Sep 2014 12:34
Church Disappoints PM

A letter circulated to all the 56 Methodist Church divisions has disappointed Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

He said that everything that the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) people lied about was in that letter instructing congregations to vote for SODELPA.

The Prime Minister reminded the church’s leaders that the church did not belong to them.

“The church belongs to Methodists like me,” he said.

“They think they have a right to dictate to the congregation what to believe in, to believe in their rubbish. We need to get out of that thing and I’m very disappointed that the Methodist Church and some Talatalas of the Methodist church can come up with these lies as the SODELPA came up with during their campaigns.”

He added: “I hope that you print it tomorrow so that the whole of Fiji and the international community know exactly what’s happening in our churches.

“Not too long ago they said that they had moved away from politics so again they lied.”

As a Methodist he was very disappointed, he said and as the Prime Minister of this nation he wanted to bring all races together but the church was putting up this barrier between races with this discriminatory policy.

“They should listen to voices that made me Prime Minister and the voices that have made this party win in the election by 60 per cent of Fijian people.”

The Prime Minister was referring to a letter signed by the secretary of the Christian Citizenship and Social Services of the Methodist Church, the Reverend Iliesa Naivalu. The letter was circulated two weeks before the general election to the heads of the church’s divisions.

According to the letter, all church divisions are to advise church members to use their freedom to vote in the upcoming general elections.

It adds: “Vei kemuni kece na sa rejisita oti, sa kerei tiko yani vakabibi mo ni digidigi vakayalomatua. Ni kakua ni yalana na nomuni rai e na totoka ni veisoqosoqo vakapolitiki kei ira era tu kina. Ni kakua ni rawai e na veivakatorocaketaki sa qaravi rawa, e na vei ka lelevu era yalataka na veisoqosoqo vakapolitiki me ra na cakava kevaka era sa mani veiliutaki.” (To all registered voters, think before you vote. Don’t be swayed by the look of the party and the candidates. Don’t be swayed also by the developments carried out and the promises made on what they would do if elected to govern.)

The letter also said the church strongly opposed the secular state status and wanted Fiji to be a Christian state.

It also stated that the church would support a government that supported mulitiracialism and this could be achieved by looking at the 1997 Constitution and the Ghai Daft Constitution because they both represented the voice of the people.

The church, the letter said, should strongly oppose the state’s prayer.

It mentioned the concern of the church on what was claimed to be the weakening of the iTaukei Afffairs, the removal of the Great Council of Chiefs, the change in the leadership and representatives to the board of the iTaukei Affairs Board and scholarships.

A copy of the letter was given to the Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF), Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga.

He said the letter had been cirulated to churches around the country explaining their role as electors and their obligations to cast a vote.

“Anybody who reads this – the paper talks about the Methodist congregation not to vote or not to consider voting for the government even though they felt short of saying not to vote for FijiFirst or vote for another party,” he said.

The church, he said, according to the content of the letter, had indicated their bias towards other political parties.

The RFMF, he said looks after the security and the safety of all Fijians but there was this large influential group and a lot of their church ministers have tried to remain apolitical and some did not.

This letter was not circulated to the RFMF circuit and this was confirmed by the RFMF chaplain, Rev Major Joseva Tikonatabua.




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