Thursday, July 09, 2009

Church Elders to be Arrested and Detained

Church Elders to be Arrested and Detained
After receipt of information early today that warrants were being prepared for the arrest and detainment of two senior Ministers of the Methodist Church Rev Manasa Lasaro and Rev Tomasi Kanailagi, senior Ministers and top officials of the Church gathered at the offices of both Rev Lasaro and Rev Kanailagi waiting for the Police and Military to turn up and arrest them.
Both Rev Lasaro and Rev Kanailagi confirmed that they were ready to be arrested for the cause of God’s truth and justice and in peaceful defiance of an oppressive, unlawful regime that has brought poverty and great suffering on the nation and its people.
The persecution of the Methodist Church by the Bainimarama regime is nothing new when one considers the history of the Church. Right throughout history, the Church has posed a real political threat. There continually hangs a nagging question over the loyalty of the Church to the State. With the high moral ground that the Methodist Church has adopted against the 2006 coup and the resulting increased poverty and suffering of the people, the leaders of the Church have clearly shown, just like the Church martyrs before them, of their avowed allegiance to their Heavenly throne and to God’s commandments as opposed to those of Bainimarama and his unlawful regime. Like all dictatorships, the Bainimarama regime is sensitive to unrest, and demand complete submission and obedience. But the Church can give neither to the regime for its allegiance lies only with God and His justice.
So as we in Fiji approach a possible flashpoint resulting from the state refusing to allow and the Church deciding to go ahead with the Rewa Conference, let us be mindful of the lessons of history. The rift between the Roman state and the early Church was such that early Christians would not obey any secular law that contradicted their own belief. Their failure to comply with the required homage demanded by the State was to be a major cause of the martyrdom of many faithful believers. Yet in the martyrs’ sacrifice, and despite policies of persecution against it, the Church continued to flourish in influence and number.
We salute you Rev Kanailagi and Rev Lasaro. God’s grace and peace be unto you!

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