13 Jan 2005

Fiji's prime minister becomes methodist preacher

10:25 am on 13 January 2005

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has been unexpectedly ordained as a Methodist preacher.

Fiji TV reports that it happened after a Tongan preacher, the Reverend Manase Tafea, warned during a sermon in Suva that there would be more coups in Fiji if its leaders were not ordained to preach from the pulpit.

The Reverend Tafea warned that if a nation was led by a man who did not believe in Jesus Christ, there would be chaos, and challenged Mr Qarase to become a preacher.

Mr Qarase was ordained the same afternoon.

It's not known when he will deliver his first sermon as a lay preacher.