Tuesday, February 02, 2010

CHURCH FACES FURTHER BANS

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION

MEDIA RELEASE

HEADLINE:

BAN ON CHURCH CONFERENCE EXTENDED TO DIVISIONAL AND QUARTERLY MEETS



News in brief:


(MONDAY FEBRUARY 1ST 2010, No:102/MOI) BAN ON CHURCH CONFERENCE EXTENDED TO DIVISIONAL AND QUARTERLY MEETS


The ban on the Methodist Church’s annual conference has been extended to cover both divisional and quarterly meetings.


Government spokesman and Permanent Secretary for Information, Lt-Col Neumi Leweni, today said Government has extended the ban following a meeting between a church delegation and the Commissioner of Police, Commodore Esala Teleni.


Lt-Col Leweni said the only church meeting that is now allowed to take place is the monthly meeting, which specifically focuses on the spiritual development of the church.


“Meetings to do with issues other than the spiritual development are being suspended as of today,” he said.


Lt-Col Leweni said Government remains firm that the church should focus on the spiritual development of its members, and not be involved in politics.


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www.fijisun.com.fj - 02 February 2010

Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama has stopped all Methodist Church divisional and quarterly meetings.

The decision was made after the Government said it had established the church had a political agenda for these meetings.

The directive was issued to the church last week through Police Commissioner Commodore Esala Teleni. Details: Page 3

Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama has stopped all Methodist Church divisional and quarterly meetings.

The decision was made after the Government established the church had a political agenda during the two meetings.

Commodore Bainimarama said the directive was issued to the church last week through Police Commissioner Commodore Esala Teleni, who is a member of the Fiji Military Council.

Commodore Bainimarama said the Government was optimistic the country would move towards being a better nation if Methodist Church leaders worked with the Government. He said the Government stood firm on that there would be no church annual general meeting until 2014.

“As long as my Government is in place there will be no church annual general meeting, only the standing committee meeting,” Commodore Bainimarama said.

He said the eight church executive members would have to attend their court cases for breaching the Public Emergency Regulations. “Church leaders are supposed to be leading the nation by example and preparing people for the next life, not be breaking the laws,” he said.

Commodore Bainimarama said the new government that would take over after the 2014 elections would decide whether the church could hold its annual general meeting.

“We are trying to remove politics from the church and the Great Council of Chiefs,” he said.

“This is a new era and a new beginning not only for the leaders of Fiji but for the nation.”

Church assistant general secretary Reverend Tevita Nawadra said they met with Commodore Teleni last Thursday.

Reverend Nawadra said the meeting focussed on allegations against the eight executives who had been charged with breaching the emergency regulation.

He said another meeting was expected to take place next week.

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