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Church in politics

Serafina Silaitoga
Monday, December 11, 2017

POLITICIANS should not shut out religious bodies from politics, says Methodist Church general secretary Reverend Ili Vunisuwai.

He said involving the church in politics was imperative as the welfare of church members were also handled by politicians.

Mr Vunisuwai said at the recent youth rally in Labasa that religious leaders should be involved to advise and guide their members through the changing world system.

"This is the biggest problem affecting the Methodist Church today, when we raise our concerns and voices in politics, the politicians says 'no' to the church because our concern is the spiritual side of humanity," Mr Vunisuwai said.

"Why shouldn't the church talk about politics?

"We should have a voice in politics because it involves the people, who are our church members."

Mr Vunisuwai said politics involved people and not animals thus the need to involve church leaders.

Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry said gone were the days of separating church and politics.

"Every citizen of the country should take interest in politics because politics, after all, determines the future of a nation and her people," he said.

"There is a need for good spiritual guidance to have good politics, have a clean and caring government in place that looks after all citizens.

"Not only have the religious bodies, but other institutions needed to play a positive part in Fiji's politics."

National Federation Party president Pio Tikoduadua said religious groups represented a group of people with a common belief and a common journey.

"It has an obligation to stand for the marginalised in society and present their issues to the State," he said.

"If our religious leaders detect problems among their flock that requires political help, they may like to make interventions to the Government of the day and political leaders, on behalf of their congregation."

Efforts to obtain comments from SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka and FijiFirst party leader and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama were unsuccessful when this edition went to press.

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