A Fiji Methodist Church leader says politics is part and parcel of the work of a church and can't be ignored as demanded by the interim regime.
The comment from deputy secretary, reverend Tevita Banivanua, came as reports in the local media say the interim government has banned today's annual national conference.
The interim government had also banned the last two annual conferences.
The Suva conference was due to start today with the interim government demanding that political issues be avoided.
It also wanted the current leadership not to take key roles in the event but the reverend Banivanua says this conflicted with the church's constitution.
And he says the church can't ignore politics when a key focus of its work is dealing with social issues such as poverty.
"We, the church have distanced ourselves from party politics because we do not like that, but to be involved with poverty, to be involved with other issues like education, that's part and parcel of the mission of the church."
Methodist church leader, reverend Tevita Banivanua.