Don’t mix religion with politics – Bainimarama

religion with politics

Fiji’s prime minister prime Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama says it is inappropriate to mix religion with politics.

He said some other political parties are engaging preachers in campaigns and also electing them as proposed candidates but this will not happen in the FijiFirst party.

“To see a talatala (church minister) talking or backing a political party, I would not want any talatala to be involved with politics in my FijiFirst party, I want talatalas to be independent to do what they are supposed to do.”

The president of the Methodist Church, Epineri Vakadewavosa, told FBC News that Fijians had the right to support a party of their choice but this should not be practised within church premises.

Methodist ministers could join a political party only if they first resigned from the church, Vakadewavosa said.

The PM says Fijians have every right to support any political party but it’s inappropriate to mix religion with politics.

Speaking at a Devi Pooja (act of worship to the Goddess Devi) celebration at the Mahadevi Temple in Nausori last week, Bainimarama said that some parties and candidates encourage people to vote along religious or ethnic lines in the coming national elections.

The prime minister said this is wrong as it’s a backward way of thinking and risks the unity that society has built.

“As I said in the Ba Provincial Council Meeting just last month, religion and ethnicity should never be exploited to sow division and hate.

“This is fundamentally against the very nature of not only any religion but of our very democracy.”

Bainimarama said Fijians will benefit when values-based organisations work in conjunction with the government regardless of ethnicity, background or faith.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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