Friday, October 12, 2012

Ghai's Personal Views in Contrast to Pastor's over State & Religion in Fiji

 Fiji Times News

Pastor calls for Christian state


This comment by 58-year-old Reverend Peni Seru, a minister at the Assemblies of God Lami Gracefield Church, comes after the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau urged the nation to be wary of declaring Fiji a Christian state during his Independence Day address.

"The comment is very weak because it puts Fiji to be a secular state," said Mr Seru.
He said a Christian state would lead to a godly nation.

"When we talk about a secular state, we are talking about a worldly state. If it's a secular state, it means state above Christ which is not right."

He said God should be the head of everything as in the US and Britain.

"That is why they are very powerful and strong. This will be good to other religious organisations because God gave people a choice, for people to choose whom they should serve."

He said disagreements and disputes among Fijians would be a constant thing if Fiji was to continue as a secular state.

Fiji Muslim League general secretary Taabish Akbar said he had no qualms with Mr Seru's wish as long as there was a biblical basis on which the laws of Fiji should be based.

"I don't have any problem with Fiji being called a Christian state," Mr Akbar said. "Will there be peace among all the AOG, Methodists, Catholics and Mormons if Fiji is a Christian state?"
Methodist Church general secretary Reverend Tevita Nawadra said he agreed with Fiji being a Christian state as long as harmony existed between different religions in Fiji.

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Ghai's Personal Views - Not Needed Thank You!

WE cannot be endorsing human rights if we strive to make Fiji a Christian State because the two issues contradict each other, says Constitution Commission chairman Professor Yash Ghai.

Responding to submissions made by groups of citizens around the country to make Fiji a Christian State, Professor Ghai said human rights respected the different religions and faiths in the country.

"Human rights support the freedom of worship of individuals and the right to go about as they wish, free from religious obligations," said Professor Ghai. "A Christian State would restrict people from exercising their freedom because certain activities will have to be stopped during the day of rest. "Not everyone is a Christian and a state as such will only give priority to issues regarding Christianity which defies the purpose of the human rights to freedom and recognition of other religions."

Professor Ghai's comments come in the wake of the views of the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau who cautioned the nation to be wary of declaring Fiji a Christian state. In his Independence Day address to the nation on Fiji Day, the President said the nation had already endured enough division over ethnic and religious lines.

Ratu Epeli said the declaration of Fiji as a Christian state — like the common roll system of voting — would only bring more division to Fiji and its people.

"This (Christian state) would effectively further divide our people based on religious beliefs," he said. "I humbly advise that we should tread with the uttermost caution on this issue for I am a firm believer in the age-old adage of 'the separation of the church and the state'."

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