19 Feb 2007

Fiji churches to fast for Iloilo resignation

2:43 pm on 19 February 2007

The Assembly of Christian Churches in Fiji has come out in support of a call by the Methodist Church to have President Ratu Josefa Iloilo retired for health reasons.

The general secretary of the Assembly, Sani Matalomani, has told the Fiji Sun newspaper they would stand by the statement put out by their chairman and senior Methodist Church official, the Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu.

Mr Matalomani says they would spend 40 days fasting and praying in its support.

The Methodist statement had also called for the interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, to resign.

Mr Matalomani says all members have been informed of their strategy of praying and fasting including those in the Methodist and Assemblies of God churches and others.

The military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, says the church has been politicized and its role should be questioned by members who seek spiritual guidance.

In an editorial today, the Sun newspaper says President Iloilo has always stood for what was right and did not buckle when pressured.

It says President Iloilo has previously been the Methodist Church's vice president and its lay preacher for 30 years and deserves much better treatment than being crucified publicly by the churches.