Fiji Time: 4:29 AM on Wednesday 2 December

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / News

Accept secular state

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

THE newly-elected president of the Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma, Reverend Tevita Nawadra Banivanua, believes the church has prepared itself to work in a secular state nation as per the Constitution.

Mr Nawadra, of Moala in Lau, was elected yesterday as the church's new leader.

While the status of secular state was a totally new experience for Fiji, he said it was important that people prepare d themselves to live by the law.

"The secular state is here. The church should prepare itself because it is here already, it is legally binding. The church's mission is to prepare itself to live in it," Mr Nawadra told this newspaper.

"The church should brace itself for this so we won't be caught by surprise. We want to be with the law. If the law says it is a secular state, we will abide by that.

"We have always been a law abiding church and whatever law prevails in our country that we are guided by, we will accept it that way."

Earlier in the day, the then interim president Reverend Laisiasa Ratabacaca reminded members of the church to accept that Fiji was a secular state.

"But being in a secular state does not stop the church in its mission and evangelise and tell people that Jesus Christ is the only saviour in the world," Mr Ratabacaca said.

"It would be for us to do our work and not to rely on the issue of secular state to affect our work but in fact, to motivate us in the work we do.

"Nothing is holding us back, there is freedom of religion in the country so we should be doing our work."

The Constitution in section 22 states:

22-1: Every person has the right to freedom of religion, conscience and belief.

2. Every person has the right, either individually or in community with others, in private or in public, to manifest and practise their religion or belief in worship, observance, practice or teaching.

3. Every person has the right not to be compelled to- a) act in any manner that is contrary to the person's religion or belief or b) take an oath, or take an oath in a manner, that;- i) is contrary to the person's religion or belief or; ii) requires the person to express a belief that the person does not hold.

Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.62880.6098
JPY 58.514955.5149
GBP 0.31210.3041
EUR 0.44510.4331
NZD 0.72120.6882
AUD 0.65360.6286
USD 0.47300.4560



Exchange Rate updated on 1st December 2015

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Horrific crime
  2. Man in the dark on police complaint
  3. Former manager, businessman front court
  4. Miss Fiji in top 10 at world pageant
  5. David and Goliath
  6. Delainamasi's best targets Flying Fijians
  7. Sexual assault against minors
  8. Talks on removal of sunken ship ongoing
  9. FSC marks success
  10. Helipad plan receives $70k boost

Top Stories this Week

  1. Left for dead Wednesday (25 Nov)
  2. MV Suilven sinks Wednesday (25 Nov)
  3. Bomb threat Monday (30 Nov)
  4. Torture suspects known to police Thursday (26 Nov)
  5. Sex assault claim Thursday (26 Nov)
  6. Father of two sent to prison Wednesday (25 Nov)
  7. Horrific crime Tuesday (01 Dec)
  8. Terror attack survey ranks Fiji 11th out of 21 Monday (30 Nov)
  9. Students drown, three dead over the weekend Monday (30 Nov)
  10. Police chief refutes report Monday (30 Nov)