The work of reconciliation, fighting poverty and removing racism from Fiji has been taken up by the government, as the church has failed in doing this work, Methodist church leaders have been told.
Bainimarama said the military had to step in to do what they did, as they saw that the church was failing to do its part, but concentrating more on politics.
He however promised church leaders that he would not intervene with the administration of the church as he did with the Great Council of chiefs – but the church must now look at how it can get back on track.
Bainimarama also told church ministers that some within their ranks, together with a number of chiefs in the country were acting as if they were God – expecting to be served by the people.
He said it was government, not the church or the chiefs, that would develop the country, but everyone could play a part in building the nation.
Meanwhile, the Methodist Church Assistant General Secretary Reverend Tevita Nawadra has called on the government to provide proof of their current involvement in politics, saying government was talking about the past.
“The proof should be shown. There are so many allegations. We have been asking them to show us the proof that we are involved in that. If they are bringing old issues from a few years ago, that has passed.”-Fiji Broadasting Corporation.
Editor's Note: Below is Bainimarama talking to church leaders at the meeting where they were told the Church must stop getting involved in politics and change its direction.
Click here to listen to the address Bainimarama made to church leaders.
(Note: After clicking link, click on Proceed to File Download Page then go right to the bottom of the avs4 ad on left and click on download file)
And Fiji Methodist Church leaders are to meet with the interim government for a second time.
The church leaders are expected to meet this week with the Police Commissioner, Commodore Esala Teleni, with the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation saying the meeting has been confirmed by the church's acting general secretary, the Reverend Tevita Nawadra.
FBC says the meeting may be over the Church's request to hold public meetings, which is subject to police approval under the Public Emergency Regulations.
Fiji Live is today reporting that Nawadra has said there had been no word from the two ministers since they were asked to step down last week.
Fiji Live has tried to get in touch with them and says Tugaue has been out of reach while Waqairatu has told it he is thinking about the matter and will comment later.
Nawadra is also reported as saying there was reluctance among some members of the leadership for a change, the decision to do so was later agreed to unanimously.