Monday, November 30, 2009

Church Ban in Serua - Tuesday, December 01, 2009

New religious groups will be banned from Serua province if they do not follow the traditional protocol.

The issue was discussed in length at the Serua Provincial Council meeting at Vunibau Village.

Council chairman Ratu Samuela Waqanaceva told the Fiji Times that some new charismatic churches caused widespread division within the province because their beliefs contradicted traditional customs and beliefs.

"Some of these new churches do not agree with certain things we do in the village especially on traditional matters. While we respect their beliefs, it is becoming a worry because it contradicts our tradition and customs," Ratu Samuela said.

"Any religious group that wishes to enter the province will have to get an approval from the Commissioner Central's Office, likewise the provincial office," said Ratu Samuela.

He said there was an alarming increase on a number of charismatic churches in the province and the provincial office would want to see that they adhere to protocols to avoid any problems.

A number of new charismatic churches had been very vocal on traditional matters such as the consumption of kava which they viewed as contradicting their Christian beliefs, he said.

Meanwhile, delegates at the meeting unanimously supported the idea of establishing a Provincial Development Board to oversee the overall development within the province.

Commissioner Central Lieutenant Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga told the meeting that the new board would work closely with the government on all development matters arising from each province.

The names of those who will join the new board will be finalised this morning.

Ratu Samuela said the new initiative should avoid the bureaucracy within the government system.

"Hopefully the new board will speed up the whole process in getting our message across to the government," Ratu Samuela said.

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