FIJI CHURCH ACCUSES GOVERNMENT OF LYING

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Espionage claims false, used to discredit Methodists

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Jan. 14, 2010) - A church leader in Fiji says the latest allegations of espionage against four prominent members of the Methodist church, signal an increase in the regime’s tactics to destabilize the religious group.

The Reverend Tevita Banivanua says the claims being made through a pro-government newspaper are indirect and aim to spread doubt about the church leadership.

He says there is no evidence that four people named have done anything to warrant banning the church’s annual conferences until 2014.

"We know that they are lying, you know that they are not telling us the truth, you know it’s part of their tactics. We know that because they did it previously with other people last year and they didn’t show any proof at all. So we need specification of the claims."

The Reverend Banivanua says the current president of the church and the general secretary have been accused of so called dirty politics as well as the accountant and the church’s trust secretary.

He says church members are waiting for the government to provide evidence of any accusations before they can respond.

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