600-plus inmates are members of the Methodist Church

President of the Methodist Church in Fiji ​Rev. Dr. Epineri Vakadewavosa (centre), with the General Secretary Ili Vunisuwai and the Church Vice President Ratu Peni Volavola during the second day of the Methodist Church conference at the Centenary Methodist Church in Suva. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

A TOTAL of 604 inmates incarcerated in Fiji Corrections Service (FCS) facilities around the country are members of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma.

During the church’s annual conference at the Centenary Methodist Church, Suva, yesterday, it was also revealed that rape was the most common type of offence committed by those who had been imprisoned.

FCS chaplain the Rev Josefa Tikonatabua said there were 561 Methodist inmates last year who were convicted of 209 rape offences and the number had increased to 238 this year.

Mr Tikonatabua said the top three offences committed by Methodist inmates were rape, aggravated robbery and the use of illicit drugs.

He said last year, from the 58 divisions and 337 circuits, a total of 49 divisions and 158 circuits had their members incarcerated.

Mr Tikonatabua said 93 remandees last year were part of the church and this year 81 remandees were part of the denomination.

He also presented to the leaders of the church a breakdown of the national muster of religion, age and provincial breakdown of those who were incarcerated in the 15 FCS institutions.

Church president the Rev Dr Epineri Vakadewavosa acknowledged the presentation and said divisional superintendents should pass this information to their members.

He said church ministers and leaders would now have to work on how they would address the issues highlighted in the report.

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