24 Nov 2009

Fiji Methodists regret military intervention in induction service

1:42 pm on 24 November 2009

The Methodist Church in Fiji says it's disappointed an induction service for senior church ministers was stopped by the police and military last weekend.

The church says it was told the ceremony to mark the election of ministers to senior positions was cancelled because some of those taking part are involved in court proceedings.

The Methodist Church president Reverend Ame Tugawe, General Secretary Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu, and seven other ministers and officials were charged in July with breaching the public emergency regulations by organising church meetings.

The church's deputy general secretary, Tevita Nawadra Banivanua, says he's saddened the activities of the church have been stopped again.

"All that we have been trying to do as a church is to get along and move on with what is happening in Fiji right now. Not to be speaking out against this against that, acting as almost we are the opposition party. We thought that the government is slowing accepting our situation."

Reverend Banivanua says the church does not want to breach the bail conditions of its members by speaking out on political matters or breaking the law.