FIJI CO-DEPUTY PM WILL NOT IMPOSE CHRISTIAN FAITH ON HINDU PM CHAUDHRY

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (June 29, 1999 - Radio Australia)---Fiji’s Co-Deputy Prime Minister, Adi Kuini Speed, says she is not going to impose her Christian faith on the Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry.

As Radio Australia correspondent Ofa Kaukimoce reports from Suva, Adi Kuini’s recent statement has put an end to debate on converting Fiji’s Hindus to Christianity.

"The issue was initially reported by one of the dailies but has since been hotly debated in columns of various newspapers, contested by people of various faiths, and was discussed by the country’s largest Hindu organization last weekend.

"Adi Kuni is reported to have said at a church gathering that she was hoping and praying that Chaudhry - a Hindu - would become a Christian.

"Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Adi Kuini said media reports of a crusade to convert the Prime Minister to Christianity cast a slur on her commitment to the Constitution that guarantees the freedom to choose one’s own religion.

"As if to drive the message home to Hindus, she repeated her reassurances in Hindi.

"Ofa Kaukimoce, Suva."

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