THE leader of the Methodist Church in Fiji, Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu, believes Fiji can be the new rainbow nation with elections set for the new year.
In his sermon delivered during the memorial service of Nelson Mandela at the Centenary Methodist Church in Suva yesterday, Mr Waqairatu said racism had no place in Fiji.
Recalling the days when Mr Mandela became President of South Africa, Mr Waqairatu said the leader always had the perception that everybody was equal in the eyes of God.
"When Mandela was released from prison, he was asked if he hated his captors," Mr Waqairatu said from the pulpit.
"He replied, 'at first, but if I keep hating them, I will always be their prisoner'.
"Fijians have to ensure equality, compassion and respect for all, if we are to rid of racism," he added.
Mr Waqairatu said the nation was looking forward to the elections next year and if Fijians learn the messages from Mr Mandela's life, Fiji would be prosperous.
"The progress of the nation also depends on how it treats its women," he added.
The sermon delivered towards the end of program reminded those present that Mr Mandela's life taught more than one lesson.
Mr Waqairatu said Mr Mandela's humble Christian beginnings may have had a hand in defining the character of one of the greatest icons of the modern era.