Fiji Time: 5:57 PM on Tuesday 30 September

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.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Australia applauds Fiji
  2. FLP mourns death of party member
  3. Memorial for former teacher
  4. Aussies restore ties
  5. Advice against unhealthy diets
  6. Relief for Westerners as rain falls
  7. Forgiveness and reconciliation to benefit vanua
  8. Longer dry spell looms
  9. Ministry gets updates
  10. Police treat death of girl, 13, as murder

Top Stories this Week

  1. Ro Teimumu is Leader of the Opposition Wednesday (24 Sep)
  2. Mata apologises Wednesday (24 Sep)
  3. Luveni vacates her seat, Tuitubou is now an elected MP Wednesday (24 Sep)
  4. PM designates Cabinet portfolios Thursday (25 Sep)
  5. Our new Speaker Thursday (25 Sep)
  6. Moment of silence Thursday (25 Sep)
  7. Salary budget soon Thursday (25 Sep)
  8. PM's first official trip Wednesday (24 Sep)
  9. PM: Work with me Monday (29 Sep)
  10. Police intervene Friday (26 Sep)