Thursday, June 04, 2009

Methodist Conference banned

The Fiji military government, which overthrew the democratically elected government, has ordered the Methodist Church to cancel its annual conference.

The banning of the Methodist Conference follows information that "inciteful issues are going to be discussed at the conference", police spokeswoman Ema Mua confirmed. A statement issued jointly by the military and the police said the Methodist Church could not hide its involvement in politics as part of the agenda for the August conference focused on the current political situation.

The Methodist Church is the dominant denomination among the devout indigenous Fijians, who make up 57 percent of the total population of around 840,000. The Methodist leadership has been critical of the 2006 military coup of military chief and self-appointed prime minister Voreqe Bainimarama.
Bainimarama has since ruled out democratic elections before 2014.

This is an obedient Church - when a body of Christ followers chooses to speak truth to the powerful and the greedy without fear and favour. So I pray for the Methodist Church leaders of Fiji.

(And I really do wish that the leadership of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa could find the same capacity to speak truth in my country. The leadership of the MCSA are still too dazzled by their rich and powerful family and friends who sit in parliament, on government appointed committees, and in the corporate boardrooms to be of any use in speaking hard truths. My Bishops and Unit Leaders are in little danger of being arrested for discussing the political issues of the day – not because we have a constitution that allows freedom of speech (we do), but because my seniors seldom critique our Nation’s political and business agenda.)
And I pray for the Methodist Church of SA – that we might awaken from our contented slumber.


Steven Jones said...

Hear, hear!

Steve Hayes said...

Are any Methodists going to be at the Amahoro Gathering, looking at postcolonial Christianity in Africa?

Arthur said...

Amen and amen!