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Show of Solidarity from the Australian Uniting Church

June 2, 2009

In a press release issued on 01 June 09, the Uniting Church in Australia has expressed grave concern for its partner church, the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma.

Uniting Church president, Rev Gregor Henderson, said he is distressed that the Fijian military and police have been intimidating Methodist Church ministers, and have announced the Government will prohibit the church from holding its annual conference in August.

“The Uniting Church in Australia stands in solidarity with the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma and finds the Government banning of a church conference entirely unacceptable,” Rev Henderson said.

“The ban represents a major interference of the state in the operations of the church and seriously compromises the principle of freedom of religion, which was enshrined in the 1997 Constitution of Fiji.”

The Uniting Church has today written to the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and to its 11 Pacific church partners inviting them to make representation to the Fijian Government to lift the ban on the Methodist annual conference.

Rev. Dr Kerry Enright, national director UnitingWorld, said the Methodist Church was concerned for the economic hardship, increasing poverty and loss of freedoms currently being experienced by Fijians, and was trying to make a positive contribution to the future of the nation.

“We are in regular communication with the Methodist Church leadership who are committed to a peaceful solution and have been unrelenting in their attempts to dialogue with the Government.

The attitude and actions by the Fijian gGvernment towards the Methodist Church are being experienced by many other institutions including the media, non-government organisations, the Judiciary and lawyers.

“We plead with the Fiji Government to immediately restore basic human rights, including freedom of assembly and freedom of the press,” Rev Enright said.

“In the interests of peace and justice, the Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma must be allowed to hold its annual meeting without government interference.”

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mark Manning permalink
    June 3, 2009 12:14 AM

    Silly coup and Frank were doomed from the beginning by committing those human rights atrocities on Christmas eve in 2006 when ladies asked the ladies if they were pregnant, told yes, and then stood on their backs anyway as they lay on the ground !
    Also, when they abrogated the Constitution on Good Friday 2009 !
    So any wonder they have the wrath of God to deal with now.
    I wonder how many Hindus and Moslems will become Christian after the fine display of Christian tolerance by their fellow Christian citizens in Fiji ?

  2. Mark Manning permalink
    June 3, 2009 12:38 AM

    This was a true story, so what’s your excuse ? :-

    Skokie, a town in America.

  3. Mark Manning permalink
    June 3, 2009 12:40 AM

    I will not go home, I will not pull down the shades, I will not stay off the streets :-
    http://maps.google.com.au/maps?utm_campaign=en_AU&utm_medium=ha&utm_source=en_AU-ha-apac-au-sk-gm&utm_term=directions
    That’s what we did when the Nazis came in the 1930’s, I will not do it again !

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