Methodist Church in Fiji marks 186 years

The Methodist Church in Fiji yesterday celebrated the arrival of Christianity into Fiji 186 years ago as the church’s missionaries arrived at Tubou on Lakeba in Lau.

Church members marked the anniversary celebrations with prayer, fasting, singing and thanksgiving.

Speaking during a virtual discussion on Facebook to mark the event, the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma’s historian the Reverend Dr Jolame Lasawa said the biggest lessons Christians could derive from the celebrations was unity, love and peace.

Dr Lasawa said the arrival of Christianity literally extinguished cannibalism – establishing peace among warring tribes.

Dr Lasawa said Christianity brought light to the pagan chiefs who had various deities for their own districts, uniting them under the Christian God whose ideals were centred on love and peace.

Dr Lasawa said since the arrival of Christianity in Fiji on October 12, 1834, the church played a major role in the spiritual and mental enlightenment of Fiji even to this day.

He said church history noted the existence of missionaries in districts around the country before the arrival of the Methodist missionaries on Lakeba in 1834, who helped greatly in mission work.

Dr Lasawa said the church continued to play a major role in the development of the spiritual lives of its members, communities and the nation as a whole.

Christianity was introduced into Fiji in 1830 by three Tahitian teachers from the London Missionary Society.

The Australian-based Wesleyan Missionary Society began work at Lakeba in Lau on October 12, 1834 under David Cargill and William Cross, along with some Tongans.