Thursday, February 01, 2007

'Courage brother do not stumble' a Methodist hymn

The Fiji Methodist Church has come out with a strong statement about the current situation. It seems that this caused some disquiet in the military camp and soldiers went into Centenary Church this afternoon and a Fiji Times photographer was allegedly assaulted in the process.

Resign, Methodist Church tells regime
Friday February 02, 2007
Fiji’s largest Christian denomination, the Methodist Church has issued a strongly worded statement denouncing the December 5 coup by the military.

The church said the actions of the Commander to depose and then reinstate the President, to terminate the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua Government and Multi Party Cabinet and the dissolution of Parliament are questionable in any court of law.

"These actions must be viewed as a dangerous precedent to the governance of this country i.e. the use of military power to usurp the mandate of a democratically elected government.

‘The takeover should be deplored as a treasonous act against the State.

The Methodist Church said the coup in the short term created more poverty and this was evident from the growing number of people seeking assistance through the Church.

On the interim regime, the Church said in principle it agreed to the appointment because it acknowledges that democratic normalcy needs to be restored to the nation with undisturbed speed.

The Church called on the President and the Great Council of Chiefs to "show integrity, compassion and to stand up for the rule of law and Godly principles, including human rights, in this difficult period.

It also called for serious consideration to have the President medically boarded, and if necessary retired with dignity and respect.

"This plea is in the national interest and in the interest of the credibility of the interim regime.

"It is the humble and honest advice of the Church that this matter should be addressed to avoid certain embarrassment," the statement said.

The Methodist Church also called on Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and his interim ministers to resign and appoint a new government that is politically neutral made up of prominent and respected people in society.

A senior army officer was infuriated when contacted for comments and blamed the president of the Assembly of Christian Churches in Fiji (ACCF) Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu for releasing the statement.

Senior Methodist Church ministers were not in a position to comment.

Methodist president Reverend Laisiasa Ratabacaca declined to comment.

Rev Ame Tugaue said he would rather not comment.

"Try the president or somebody else in the Church", he said.

Numerous calls made to the ACCF office were unanswered.


Anonymous said...

Norman NcLeod wrote:
Courage brother, do not stumble, though thy path be dark as night: There is a star to guide the humble, Trust in God, and do the right. Let the road be dark and dreary and its end far out of sight. Face it bravely, strong or weary. Trust in God, and do the right.

Anonymous said...

That would be their downfall ... when they battle with the body of Christ i.e. the Church! The whole problem with them is ganging up with people who do not serve our Christian God!

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

There were some hurtful comments in the Methodist statement such as the reference to the President but it takes courage to speak rather than turn away and pretend nothing is wrong.
Also, there are many Methodist men and women within the military ranks, so it is a complex situation.

Anonymous said...

Their comments concerning the President is well justified. The old man just needs to realise that he cannot do that work in an effective way and should give it up.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

It's a difficult thing in Fiji to say things that appear disrespectful but in all honesty, a man in such a high position is not there just for ceremonial purposes, but needs to have a clear head, a knowledge of the law and a passion for justice for all people in Fiji. Perhaps Ratu Jone would fit the position but I'm sure he is not willing to be a pawn for anyone at present.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Today - Tuesday- the Methodist Church in Fiji leaders have now recalled the 20 point resolution as it had not gone to Standing Committee. A technical knockout!I'm not surprised that there are differences of opinion amongst the leaders at Epworth House.
A nice little spelling error refers to 'insightful' when they really meant 'inciteful' in a reference to a Council of Churches memo on what not to write.
Fiji Village is running the story.

Pandabonium said...

Is this the same group that supported three previous coups?

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

I'm not all-knowing, all-seeing into the minds of the talatalas but they are not a homogenous group - some think this way, some think that way. Some of these men were associated with the last coup no doubt visiting Parliament - their church members were there! Some were sympathetic. However there were some Methodist leaders strongly against the Speight coup.
I think that John Wesley's lot today have been neglectful. And to back down like wimps....

I was impressed when I read that at least four leaders were courageous enough to pin their statement on the door of the Diet of Worms - oops sorry - I'm getting mixed up with Luther now!