4 Aug 2009

Methodist Church calls off conference in Fiji

6:28 pm on 4 August 2009

The Methodist Church in Fiji fears there would be more arrests if it went ahead with its annual conference in Rewa this month.

After weeks of defiance against a ban by the interim government on the conference, Radio New Zealand International reports church leaders have backed down and cancelled the event.

Deputy general secretary Reverend Tevita Banivanua says nine church leaders are currently before the courts and they feared the reaction if the conference was held as planned with ministers from other parts of Fiji in attendance.

Rev Banivanua says the cancellation does not mean the Methodist Church accepts what the interim government is doing, and the church will look at other ways of expressing its opinions.