The leader of the Fiji opposition SODELPA party, Sitiveni Rabuka, has defended the Methodist Church's right to raise concerns about proposed village bylaws.
It said this could heighten tensions and lead to conflict.
But Mr Rabuka said the Methodist Church and other religious, social and political groups had a right to put their views to the government.
"So the Methodist Church has a right, my party has a right, all the other political parties have the right to raise their concerns to the government about what is going on," he said.
"And they are our views and we have the right to express those views."
Mr Rabuka said rather than the military itself putting out a statement the Defence Minister should have raised any concerns he had in Parliament.