The New South Wales chapter of the Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement is urging the senior clergy of Fiji's Methodist Church to defy the military regime's last-minute ban on this week's Conference.
Chapter spokesperson Pita Waqatairewa says Church leaders should press ahead with the meet.
“It is time the Methodist Church's senior clergy adhere to the old saying when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
"As Christians and as shepherds ministering to the flock, it is high time the senior clergy demonstrate to persecuted church members what faith is all about.”
FDFM's NSW chapter has also applauded a group calling itself Viti Revolution Forces, whose members have been spraying anti-regime graffiti in urban centres across Fiji.
Waqatairewa commended what he described as the group's young members, saying they had bravely paved the way for open defiance against Frank Bainimarama's unelected government.
VRF's slogans call for a revolution, calling Bainimarama a “murderer”, “liar” and “evil”.
“By their actions, these young people have clearly demonstrated that they are prepared to place their own lives at very serious risk.
“They have shown by their actions that they have been pushed to their limits and have simply had enough of the repressive and heavy-handed policies of the military regime.
“These are young people who are so distressed about their future that they have been pushed into doing something about it.
“Now is the time for the Church to show their steadfast faith in standing up against tyranny and upholding human dignity by saying 'enough is enough, Bainimarama go back to camp'.”
Waqatairewa says it is an inescapable fact of life in Fiji that the church and politics “go hand in hand”.
“With Christians, their involvement in politics is unavoidable. Reading the Bible from cover to cover, it tells many stories and contains many examples of politics and how the early Judeo-Christian Churches were heavily involved in politics.
“The old Testament contains a long history of the church, the patriarchs of our faith, the children of Israel and the nation state of Israel."
“It is a chronicle of a call to the ancient Hebrew Nation, a people and a community. The New Testament is about the new Israel.
“Former President of the Methodist Church of Fiji, Reverend Josateki Koroi defined it as a natural expression of the first fellowship under the power of the Holy Spirit to share all things in common."
Waqatairewa says Bainimarama well knows the Church and the unions pose the biggest threat to his regime and says the Methodist Church and other religious groups should work together with trade union leaders, the community and traditional leaders to “openly defy the regime's blatant abuse of human rights”.