28 Jan 2005

Fiji government holds special church services for the nation's security

10:47 am on 28 January 2005

The Fiji government has organised a church service in Suva this morning so thousands of civil servants can pray for the safety and security of the nation.

The ministry of home affairs, which has organised the event, has asked other government ministries to give time off to public servants to enable them to attend the service.

Fiji TV reports that critics have labelled the service as unnecessary and a waste of taxpayers' money.

The president of the Fiji Labour Party, Jokapeci Koroi, says the service could have been scheduled for a Saturday or a Sunday.

But the prime minister, who will attend the service, says praying for divine intervention is the answer to safeguarding the country.

Mr Qarase, a newly ordained Methodist lay preacher, says without faith in God not much can be achieved.