9 Dec 2005

Fiji minister says banned preacher free to sue government

2:12 pm on 9 December 2005

A Fiji cabinet minister says the controversial South Korean preacher, the Reverend Dr Sun Myung Moon, is free to take legal action against the government for banning him from the country.

The Fiji Sun says the minister for home affairs, Josefa Vosanibola, made the comment after being told that Dr Moon had vowed to take legal action against the government.

Mr Vosanibola said the government has abided by the laws of the country and Dr Moon must respect Fiji's sovereignty.

Dr Moon has been quoted as telling a news conference in Sydney yesterday that he was disappointed by the actions of the Fiji and Vanuatu governments to ban him.

A spokesman for Dr Moon's Universal Peace Federation, Enrique Ledesma, says there is no reason why Dr Moon should be treated differently from another preacher, Benny Hinn, for whom the Fiji government will provide security when he arrives next month.

Mr Ledesma says it's a very selective way of practising religious freedom and has questioned the government's motives in banning Dr Moon.

He says it's very ironic that the leader of the United Nations-recognised World Peace Federation is considered a threat and dangerous.