26 September, 2020, 5:34 pm Central - 24°C Rain

Villagers cannot be forced to go to church on a Sunday - Katonitabua

Villagers cannot be forced to go to church on a Sunday - Katonitabua

By Iva Danford
Tuesday 28/02/2017
The Permanent Secretary for iTaukei Affairs Naipote Katonitabua.

Villagers can stay home if they want to on Sundays but it all comes back to family values.

This was highlighted by the Permanent Secretary for iTaukei Affairs Naipote Katonitabua after questions raised on the suggestions made by some villagers to have a village by-law that everyone living in villages should attend church every Sunday.

When asked by Fijivillage on constitutional rights, Katonitabua says according to the 2013 Constitution, people have the right to attend or not to attend church services.

The constitution states that there is freedom of religion but no one should be forced to follow a particular religion.

Issues have also been raised on what happens to the villagers who are Seventh Day Adventists as their sabbath falls on Saturdays.

Katonitabua says that the leaders of families within the Tokatoka and the Mataqali should know what Sundays meant to their forefathers.

He says they received many reports during the village by‑law consultations of villagers not attending church.

Katonitabua says over time people have come up with new ways of life that badly affected the church attendance on Sundays.

However he says while there are rights to worship our own religion, there are also limitations which are needed to respect the vanua.

He says the whole purpose of the Village By-Law Consultation is to bring back the respect that villages had before.

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