The bishop of Fiji’s sole diocese has criticized secularist interpretations of the nation’s new constitution.
According to the constitution, which was adopted in September,
“religious belief is personal,” “religion and the State are separate,”
and “no person shall assert any religious belief as a legal reason to
disregard this Constitution or any other law.”
In addition, the constitution provides that “the State and all persons
holding public office must not prefer or advance, by any means, any
particular religion, religious denomination, religious belief, or
religious practice over another, or over any non-religious belief.”
“We do not want a theocracy; we never said we wanted a Christian state,”
said Archbishop Peter Loy Chong of Suva. “However, we are concerned
about whether a secularist state wants to reduce faith to a purely
“The Church has a prophetic role to carry out, indicating principles and
guidelines ‘to help its members and all people of good will to make
decisions for the common good,’” according to a Fides report that
summarized the prelate’s comments.