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Fijians Split From United Methodist Church Over Same-Sex Marriage

Fijians in California, the United States of America (USA), have split from the mainstream United Methodist Church over same-sex marriage. Their spokesperson, former national and Lautoka rugby skipper Naibuka Vuli,
20 Aug 2019 12:30
Fijians Split From United Methodist Church Over Same-Sex Marriage
The annual conference of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma at the Suva Centenary Church at Stewart Street in Suva. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Fijians in California, the United States of America (USA), have split from the mainstream United Methodist Church over same-sex marriage.

Their spokesperson, former national and Lautoka rugby skipper Naibuka Vuli, said they did not support same-sex marriage.

But the mainstream church allowed it, he added.

Mr Vuli is a delegate at the annual conference of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma at the Suva Centenary Church this week.

He said same-sex marriage was legal in California.

Mr Vuli said Christian marriage “is the union between a man and a woman, instituted and ordained by God.

“It’s a lifelong relationship between one man as a husband, and one woman as a wife,” he said.

“We will not go away from that definition and we will stick to it.”

Members of the United Methodist Church in California, he said, were using their rights to decide who to marry.

He said they had formed the Kenani Vou Methodist Church and had presented a whale’s tooth (kamunaga) to the president of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma to recognise them.

“I’m glad to say that the Methodist Church in Fiji has recognised the Kenani Vou Methodist Church in California,” he said.

Meanwhile, while opening the conference (Bose Ko Viti), the president,  Reverend Epineri Vakadewavosa, said one of his great concerns was the division in the church congregation overseas because of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community.

“I will not go into the details,” he said.

This, he said, was revealed to him during his visit to Britain last year. The issue, he said, was highlighted by Reverend Sekove Veisa from America. It was also happening in New Zealand and Australia. He said it was a very sensitive issue and he was asking delegates for their prayers.

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