Monday, March 29, 2010

Nawadra Denies Methodist Church Reform Because of Bainimarama

Posted on COUPFOURPOINTFIVE29 March 2010

The Holy Spirit is being blamed for the decision to dump the two most senior officials in the Fiji Methodist Church.

When asked if the church is being forced to reform itself following a call to change the current leadership, acting general secretary Reverend Epeli Nawadra told Fiji Live:  “Reforms are always part of any church. The Holy Spirit works in different ways. We are not being pushed to reform.”

In another lifetime, a number might’ve swallowed Nawadra’s desperate explanation, but not in 2010 when the people of Fiji are clearly living under a military junta and a self-appointed leader, who this week moved to silence yet another sector of society that has challenged its authority.

Nawadra’s denial the Church is being pressured to get rid of problematic leaders is poor defence for the decision to dump president Reverend Ame Tugaue and his general secretary, Tuikilakila Waqairatu.

Everyone knows it was because of the meeting with the interim prime minister, Voreqe Bainimarama and his aides, just 12 hours before. For the acting general secretary to say it’s the work of the Holy Spirit, sees him breaking two of the Ten Commandments: Thou shall not misuse the name of God and thou shall not lie. He’s trying to save the church's dignity but there’s no concealing the fact, the Methodist Church is bending over for Bainimarama. And that’s breaking another law of God.

Nawadra needs to be asked: Why has the church given in? Who are the elders who called for Tugaue and Waqairatu to step down? What will become of the Methodist Church Constitution? How will the Church work as a religious body without having AGM’s, as it has been told to until 2014? What will the Church do if Tugaue and Waqairatu fight the decision to get rid of them? And why did the Church  lose sight of the fact that one third of the country's population of one million are Methodist and that Bainimarama is scared of the power that represents?

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