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FIJI: Anglican Archbishop speaks out in support of duly-elected government
Jabez Bryce urges prayer for a peaceful, democratic resolution to his country's crisis

12/11/2006

Archbishop Jabez Bryce of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia  

 
[Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia]  Archbishop Jabez Bryce, the long-serving Suva-based bishop who shares the leadership of the Anglican Church in this province, has spoken out in the Fiji press of his support for Fiji's elected government -- and his dismay at its overthrow by the military.

In a personally signed statement delivered to Fiji's media December 6, Bryce publicly reaffirms his support "for the duly-elected government of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase" and says that it is "regrettable that the Commander hijacked a process of dialogue that was moving, albeit slowly."

Had that been allowed to continue, the result would "surely be better than the events that have unfolded in the last 24 hours," he said.

Bryce appealed to the head of the military to cease further action which, he said, would cause an already serious situation to further deteriorate, and lead to greater economic and social instability.

The archbishop appeals to Anglicans throughout Fiji "to seek God's help and guidance during these turbulent times."

Bryce is the leader of the Diocese of Polynesia, and therefore leads the Anglican Church in Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and American Samoa.

He has been a bishop for 31 years and is the longest serving bishop in the Anglican Province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. In May this year, at the church's General Synod in Christchurch, he was chosen as one of its three co-Presiding Bishops.

The Province's two other Archbishops, Brown Turei and David Moxon, who are both based in New Zealand, say they support Bryce's plea for a peaceful democratic resolution to the crisis.