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Pacific Conference of Churches concerned over Fiji Methodists
5:30 pm GMT+12, 25/08/2011, Fiji
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 government ahead of their annual conference, that was to start this week and told not to talk about politics.

The military 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 and meddling with political affairs - that’s where one differentiates the integrity of the church.”

Tevi said it’s up to the Methodist Church and the government to settle the issue.

Meanwhile, the New Methodist Church in Fiji, which is currently holding its own annual conference, recommends the Methodist Church submit to the government.

The General Secretary, Atu Vulaono, said the church should never interfere with the government.

“The Bible says that we must submit to the authority of the day - the authority of the day, which is the government of the day. We, leaders of whatever denomination must submit, according to the Bible. For those in leadership God promotes and God demotes, whether they are of God or not, that’s for none of us to judge them.”

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

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