Pastors warned not to influence church members

Former Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma president Rev Epineri Vakadewavosa (left), president Rev Ili Vunisuwai and general secretary Rev Iliesa Naivalu show their vaccination cards after their jabs at the Methodist Church compound at Pender St in Suva. Picture: RAMA/FILE

The Methodist Church of Fiji has warned its leaders that it would take action against those influencing church members not to get vaccinated.

Speaking during a virtual meeting regarding the church’s stand on COVID-19 on Thursday, the church’s general secretary, the Rev Iliesa Naivalu has reminded pastors that they were answerable to the church.

Mr Naivalu has also called on them to refrain from circulating baseless videos being circulated on social media.

Mr Naivalu reminded pastors that they had a duty to preach about goodness and life to those under their charge.

Therefore, he said pastors had a fundamental role in encouraging their flock to get the vaccine to protect them and their loved ones.

“Pastors circulating baseless videos of wild claims on social media were spreading lies and aiding the dark intents of those that created these lies,” he said.

He told church members that the decision not to get vaccinated was an individual’s personal right that they were entitled to.

However, he encouraged them to listen to experts who were explaining the benefits of vaccination.

As part of the church’s stand on the pandemic, Mr Naivalu said it was of the view that people’s decision to be vaccinated should be based on the correct information that they received.

For a vaccine that has saved the lives of three billion people around the world, Mr Naivalu said the church viewed it as a life-giving medicine which had no evil harms and therefore people needed to get vaccinated.

He explained that the church was supporting the Ministry of Health in its efforts to get people vaccinated because there was nothing wrong or evil about the vaccine.

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