Fijian Culture

Religion

At the time of the 2007 census, 64.5% of Fijians were Christian (most being Methodist or Catholic), 27.9% were Hindu and 6.3% were Muslim. There is also a small minority of Sikhs and Buddhists.

During the colonial era, a large majority of Fijians were converted to Christianity as part of a larger mission scheme throughout the Pacific Ocean. Many tribes previously had a polytheistic faith, which quite easily accepted a new God to be blended in with its practices. Their initial understanding of Christianity saw the Christian God as a deity like those they already knew, but one who was particularly powerful and didn’t like them worshipping others. Other tribes had already possessed belief in a single divinity, which they came to re-comprehend as the Christian God of the holy trinity. Eventually, almost all indigenous Fijians adopted some Christian tenets or understandings and the Methodist Christian church became the fastest growing denomination of religion on the islands. 

Today, most indigenous Fijians are devoutly Christian and the faith has become a central aspect of their lifestyle. Fijian women generally organise community events relating to worship. They have many duties involving helping the minister run services and preparing food for after-mass feasts. Sunday is reserved for worship and time with the family and community.

While not all Fijians are Christian, faith plays a major role in almost everyone’s lives. There are countless churches, temples and mosques throughout the islands where people can worship and pray. The Fijian constitution guarantees freedom of religion and there is a multi-faith understanding among society. People exhibit tolerance and respect to the diversity of religions, often celebrating the rituals and holidays of other religions. One’s religious affiliation largely correlates with their ethnicity. Europeans are generally Christian, Indians are usually Hindus or Muslim, and the Chinese tend to be Christian or Buddhist. Many Indo-Fijians are also Christian and there are small numbers of Sikhs. In the last census, only 7,000 people reported having no religion.

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