Fiji churches open after five months

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Suva Central Seventh-day Adventist Church members ready to welcome back churchgoers on October 9.

Thousands of Fijians returned to church on Sabbath (October 9), after five months of churches being closed due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Church members committed the Sabbath to giving praise to God that churches had reopened throughout the country.

Vaccination rates in Fiji reached 75 per cent towards the end of September, allowing for restrictions to ease. On October 4, the government announced that houses of worship and almost all workplaces were allowed to open to 70 per cent capacity for double-dosed adults.

Many urban churches in Fiji, now used to worshipping via Zoom, continued to use the technology to offer a hybrid-church experience—to cater for members and interests who are not yet fully vaccinated.

Fiji Mission communication director Joni Vatuvatu shared on the My Mission – Fiji Mission of Seventh-day Adventists Facebook page that while some members remained at home, church elders ensured that virtual fellowship was organised so that no-one was left behind.

Some churches are waiting for approval to conduct baptisms. Many churches have continued with online evangelism programs and Bible studies during the lockdown, and new members are just waiting to get baptised.