Postdate: 25/ 09/ 2010
CCF is concerned that the recent Sacrilege incidents point to the menace of religious intolerance re?emerging. In spite of tougher penalties in the new Crimes Decree and the stated principle for respect for religious belief etched in the Peoples’ Charter, the four reported incidents this year with the 2 in the recent two weeks means that Fiji has not moved on as we hoped.
According to Reverend Yabaki, “Government has a responsibility to ensure that basic human rights are protected including Freedom of Worship and these new reported incidents does not reflect well on where we are at all. It is an issue for all of us to re?examine seriously and that includes faith groups including Christian churches in Fiji.”
“A multicultural and diverse nation like Fiji knows too well from its recent experience that there has to be more emphasis placed on religious tolerance in faith teachings and the danger that racial and religious intolerance can have on peace and security in Fiji .”
“The current government must act to provide a safe and secure country for all and monitor these events with greater urgency and that we, the citizens of Fiji, including religious leaders and groups must revert to the universal message of peace and justice for all,” Reverend Yabaki added.
It is a great shame that these reported incidents have come at the same time as many organizations celebrated International Day of Peace on the 21st September. The Pacific Conference of Churches asked members of Oceania to pray for Peace in Africa, and the Davuilevu Theological College students had discussion on the role of the church in peace building.
Reverend Akuila Yabaki
CEO ? CCF