Well, keeping a mild face on things, the Fiji Methodist Church leaders are now allowed to meet for more than one day.
From Fiji Sun
PM OKs 3-DAY CHURCH MEET
writer : LOSALINI RASOQOSOQO
Government has given the green light for the Methodist Church in Fiji to hold its annual conference for more than a day. Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama approved the permit yesterday morning allowing the church to meet for three days later this month.
Previously, Government had only granted a day's permit for all church meetings including the monthly circuit meetings and quarterly meetings with the condition that no political issue is discussed at those meetings.
The Church's deputy secretary Reverend Tevita Nawadra yesterday expressed their gratefulness for the decision.
He said what had transpired in the past between them (Government and church) had been a lesson for them.
He said this year’s conference was an opportunity for them to discuss their way forward.
“We are so thankful to Government for giving us the extended time where we plan to touch only on the main items selected which are required by our constitution,” Reverend Nawadra said.
“Part of our programme is to have forward thinking where we will try to have our strategy for the future.
“What has taken place has taught us some lessons and we want to see that as part of our discussions and how we can move on forward from here given the situation that we have just gone through,” he said.
Commodore Bainimarama had initially banned all church gatherings saying that the church was politically involved, especially their leaders. He also said that the church was rather a money making institution with the high amount of money levied to its members.
Reverend Nawadra said to have been allowed the meetings (including the extended time) is a bonus for them given the initial order that the conference should wait until 2014.
Only the choir and the soli competitions are still being banned.
“The whole meeting that used to be held is still not being entertained this year. We want to take one year at a time and it is part of our next year’s plan to seek approval,” Reverend Nawadra said.
He said a letter was sent to the PM requesting that the one day time that was allotted to them be extended to 24 hours.
The conference is schedule to take place from August 23-25 in Suva.