While Government has granted 50 year lease to pastor Ok Joo Shin and her followers, Opposition leader Ro Kepa and her clan also in organic rice farming partnership with the controversial 'heavenly new messengers'; Fijileaks: Is Grace Road Church linked to the South Korean Government?
The Pacific Harbour villa residents are subjected to traffic obstruction on Hibiscus Drive from Grace Road Church vehicles (including a bus), starting at four am when the Korean labourers are carted to the farm.
‘Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves’.
THE Methodist Church in Fiji had sent out a circular in January to all its circuits to be wary of the Grace Road Church "cult". President of the Methodist Church Reverend Tevita Nawadra said they were given the warning through its Methodist partner in Korea, the Korean Missionary Fellowship in Fiji. "The problem with this Korean cult sect is that it is misinterpreting the Bible for its own gain, and this worries the church."
Fijileaks: We have a history of falling for the well healed 'heavenly messengers' - remember the South Korean Reverend Moon and his counterpart Pastor Benny Hinn fighting for the soul and wallet of Fijians:
"There is no doubt that many people in Fiji will be falling and fainting in January at the hands of Hinn, although his detractors claim that his whole show is a charismatic delusion, and he is a charlatan. He is not a faith healer but a fake healer, they say. The Methodists in Fiji have reservations about the televangelist, and the leader of the Indian Division of the Methodist Church, Reverend Emmanuel Reuben, said Fiji did not need overseas preachers since many different churches in the country provided the gospel to those who hunger for it. He said overseas evangelists like Hinn and Binn do more damage than good when they come to the country. The Methodist Church, in general, while it welcomes the Hinn visit, is concerned about the various new methods of worship being introduced into the country." VICTOR LAL, Fiji Sun Opinion Column, 2005
The Fiji Sun,
The Reverend Sun Myung Moon and Pastor Benny Hinn
Why the double standard for ‘the messiah’ and the ‘faith-healer’?
The Fiji Muslim League should call on Government to ban Hinn for equating Muslims with ‘The Devil’ and claiming ‘The Muslim population is going down’.
The red carpet reception, with [Qarase] Government’s offer of security guards to the controversial televangelist miracle healer from God channel, the Lebanese-born American Pastor Benny Hinn next January, is in stark contrast to the controversial treatment of the North-Korean born ‘messiah’, Dr Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, first established as the Unification Church on 1 May 1954, in Seoul, South Korea. He was banned from entering the country, despite his mission to publicise his new organisation, the Universal Peace Foundation, which he claims is dedicated to resolving the ever-growing and violent global conflict.
As one of his followers, the Leader of the Opposition Mahendra Pal Chaudhry, has protested, claiming that by refusing to allow Reverend Moon and his wife to enter Fiji, the Government was denying Moon’s followers the freedom of association and assembly. Besides Chaudhry, some prominent local politicians have been revealed to be associated with the Federation’s Fiji Ambassadors for Peace Committee. They include Paula Sotutu, Taito Waqavakatoga and Ratu Filimone Ralogaivau. Moreover, as Chaudhry has proclaimed, Moon wasn’t a terrorist or a criminal to be treated in this manner, especially given his commitment to the International Inter-religious Federation for World Peace. In expressing his outrage, Chaudhry also claimed that the Cabinet had buckled under pressure from the ‘uninformed group’.
On the other hand, although Moon is not a terrorist, he is definitely a convicted criminal in the eyes of the law, for he was convicted of criminal tax fraud, and given an 18-month jail sentence and a $15,000 fine. He served 13 months of the sentence in a minimum-security prison and because of good behaviour was released to a halfway house. Moons supporters regarded the tax case as politically motivated, pointing out that American prosecutors had even offered to drop the case in return that Moon surrendered his green card. In 1982, US federal prosecutors had charged Moon with criminal tax fraud, which stated that Moon had failed to declare as income (and pay taxes on) $112,000 in earned interest on a Chase Manhattan bank account, $55,000 of corporate stock. The prosecution maintained that both the money and stock were his personal property, and that his non-payment of approximately $22,000 in taxes was deliberate and thus criminal. Moon claimed that the funds were not really his, but were held in trust for members of the Japanese Unification Church.
Meanwhile, the treatment meted out to Reverend Moon by the Government, on the grounds that he might be a threat to national security while, on the other side, allocating funds for the safety and security of Pastor Hinn, cannot be justified, and it smacks of gross double standard and hypocrisy on the part of the Government. Why was Moon banned from being the chief guest speaker at a dinner at the Sheraton Hotel? Was it because it had come to the notice of the authorities that Chaudhry was a member of the Moon reception committee? Or was it because, whereas Hinn will be playing and allegedly preying on the predominantly Christian Fijians in the year of the general election, Moon’s message was directed towards an all-inclusive multi-racial listeners and followers?
According to the Department of Immigration, which has a pathetic record of monitoring and controlling hundreds of illegal Chinese migrants and criminal gangs into Fiji, Reverend Moon had not fulfilled the requirements for entering the country, because religious groups had expressed concern at the visit. Which groups and individuals? Were there Hindu and Muslim groups among the Christian group objectors. The Immigration Department said the decision was final, since it only was the final arbiter to deny Moon entry into the country. ‘The Ministry considered the representations made from individual and religious organisations, who have expressed serious concerns regarding the repercussions of some of Dr Sun Moon’s ideologies, beliefs, practices and how he conducts his personal life. In short, Dr Sun Moon’s doctrines are considered misleading, repugnant and divisive and would affect peace, good order, public safety and public morality of the Fiji Islands. On that premise, Dr Sun Moon is considered as not a fit and proper person to enter the country.’
What harm would Moon’s presence and message have done on the morality of the country when it is already at the pits end – with convicted politicians passing edicts on morality and sermonizing and legislating bills on law and order in the country? His message would have been an extension of the Government’s much vaunted but controversial Reconciliation and Unity Bill. If I were to choose between Moon and Hill, I would have gone to the Sheraton for a plate of ‘full chow’ than to be ‘healed’ by Hill, knowing that there would be a financial hole in my pocket if I were to make the visit to Suva.
Now, Moon’s supporters are threatening legal action against the Fiji Government for denying their ‘messiah’ entry into the country. They say the Government’s information on Moon was incorrect. A spokesman said, ‘How could Fiji have a problem with Dr Moon when so many other major countries allow him in?’ Moon is on a global tour of 100 cities that began in September to promote the Universal Peace Federation. Under the European Schengen Treaty, Moon is forbidden to major European continental countries. However, several European countries have overruled it. Japan refuses to let him in. However, in December, during a visit in 13 European countries – part of a 100 City World Tour – Moon and his wife were allowed to enter Great Britain, the Netherlands and Denmark.
Pastor Benny Hinn: Faith Healer or a Fake Healer?
Like Moon, Benny Hinn is an extremely rich man of ‘God’. He reportedly has an income of $100million a year, lives in a $10million home on the ocean in California, owns a private jet, and stays in the royal suites of five star hotels. The Assemblies of Christian Churches in Fiji is bringing in Benny Hinn in January. On 3 September 1991, Hinn proudly stated to the Christianity Today that ‘My upbringing, of course, was Catholic in that I attended the Catholic school in Jaffa, Israel. And so my mentality basically is a Catholic mentality. When I was born again, I was Catholic in many ways. I was very Catholic in my ideas, in my behaviour’.
On 25 December 1976, he told the Toronto Globe and Mail in an article about his first speaking engagement. This supposedly occurred on 7 December 1974, at the Trinity Pentecoastal Church in Oshawa. His words were, ‘I held up my hands to pray and the 100 people present fell on the floor. That’s when I became aware of my tremendous power’. He claims that God first appeared before him when he was eleven years old. Although Hinn calls himself a pastor, he has no theological training and therefore cannot have his claims of healing censured by higher religious authorities.
There is no doubt that many people in Fiji will be falling and fainting in January at the hands of Hinn, although his detractors claim that his whole show is a charismatic delusion, and he is a charlatan. He is not a faith healer but a fake healer, they say. The Methodists in Fiji have reservations about the televangelist, and the leader of the Indian Division of the Methodist Church, Reverend Emmanuel Reuben, said Fiji did not need overseas preachers since many different churches in the country provided the gospel to those who hunger for it. He said overseas evangelists like Hinn and Binn do more damage than good when they come to the country. The Methodist Church, in general, while it welcomes the Hinn visit, is concerned about the various new methods of worship being introduced into the country.
In the US, the ‘disbelievers’ have marred his church and concert hall performances by protesting outside venues and accusing him of preying on the sick and elderly. They claim he is a false prophet and a ferocious wolf. The Holy Bible, they say, warns us: ‘Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves’. His supporters have rubbished such allegations. And thousands of people will save to travel to Suva hoping for some kind of healing of body, mind or spirit.
Should Hinn be barred from entering Fiji?
I would generally support his entry, including that of Moon, for the Constitution of Fiji provides an individual a right for freedom of conscience, profession and religion. Since Hinn is a preacher, he has every right to propagate Christianity, irrespective of his nationality.
The Government says Hinn’s visit will further strengthen the country’s tourism industry. And it is prepared to spend over 90,000 dollars to ensure that the show must go on.
I fear the opposite effect on the tourist industry. We might be attracting the wrath of Islamic militants because of Hinn’s views. The Report on Hate Crimes and Discrimination Against Arab Americans: The Post September 11 Backlash, September 11 2001-Ocotber 11, 2002, published by the Arab-American League cited Hinn among a group of Christian preachers for spreading ill will against the Muslims. The Report cited the comments of Hinn at the American Airlines Centre, Dallas, Texas, in 2002, where he told his cheering crowd: ‘The Muslim population is going down!’ He then invited an Israeli tourism official on stage and offered his support: ‘We are on God’s side. This is not a war between Arabs and Jews. It’s a war between God and the Devil.’
The Fiji Muslim League should be in the forefront of resisting his visit to the country.
And the authorities should seriously consider banning him on security grounds in the aftermath of the Bali bombings.
The Muslims in Fiji are no ‘Devils’.