Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Methodist Church Committee members detained

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, February 03, 2010

Police today arrested members of the Methodist Church Standing Committee and took them in for questioning.

Police spokesman Atunaisa Sokomuri told FBC News that members of the Standing Committee were taken in as part of Police investigations into the church that began late last year.

“I would like to clarify that there are certain ministers of the Methodist church that have been taken by police. This is part of police investigations that started from last year and police are conducting investigations as such. Certain members of the church were also taken in yesterday too.”

It is not clear if the church members have been charged as FBC News has been receiving conflicting information.

Senior church leaders say they expect the members of the Committee to appear in Court soon.

Meanwhile the Methodist Church says it is surprised by allegations of political activity made against them by Police Commissioner Esala Teleni.

Assistant Secretary Reverend Tevita Nawadra says Teleni alleged last Thursday that the church was trying to form a new political party with certain elements.

“And he said that its allege that theirs a group of Methodists and some talatala and also former SDL party stalwarts have been trying to form a new political party or something like a Christian party -that’s the allegation.”

This week, government extended their ban on Methodist Church activities to include divisional and quarterly meetings. Only spiritual meetings are allowed.

The government says the church should focus on the spiritual development of its members, and not be involved in politics.

Reverend Nawadra says they received a letter on Friday informing them of the ban but says no evidence was provided to them.

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