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New start for church

Mere Naleba
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

THIS is the day that has been set aside to allow God's plan in reconciling its people and we should celebrate the fact that we have reconciled.

These were the words of former Methodist Church president Reverend Josateki Koroi after accepting a whale's tooth presented to him by the vanua o Batiki in the Lomaiviti group and from the family members of the late Reverend Ratu Isireli Caucau.

Mr Koroi was forcefully removed from his position as the head of the Methodist Church in 1989 by Reverend Manasa Lasaro who placed Ratu Isireli as the leader of the church.

On Monday, members of Ratu Isireli's family were also part of the reconciliation program organised by the Methodist Church which also featured former members of the church who had left to start their own groups.

Communications secretary Reverend James Bhagwan said the events of 1989 led to confusion for members and was a time of darkness for the church.

"There was a forced removal of Reverend Josateki Koroi in 1989 and the church was split at that time. When this leadership came back together, they elected Reverend Caucau as the president and the general secretary at that time was Reverend Manasa Lasaro who followed him as president, it was a time of darkness and confusion for the church and the whole nation at that time," Mr Bhagwan said.

"We allowed ourselves to be affected by the political crises of 87 (1987) and 88 (1988) and we lost our way at that stage and so this is an acknowledgement that that took place and that was not right. As we set sail to a new direction, we reorient ourselves, repoint our compass and as we look at our maps, we see the reefs that we got stuck in along the way."

Leader of the All Nations Church Epeli Ratabacaca was also present at the reconciliation program where he apologised to the church and its members.

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