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Hinduism in Fiji

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Hinduism in Fiji has a following primarily among the Indo-Fijians. They are descendants of either indentured servants brought to Fiji by the British in 1800s, or descendants of immigrants who came to the island nation in the 1920s and 1930s. According to the Constitution of Fiji, citizens of the country are Indo-Fijians if they can trace their ancestry to the Indian subcontinent, but not necessarily India.

Demographics

According to the Republic of the Fiji Islands' December 31, 2004 estimate, 38.1 percent of the population of Fiji is Indo-Fijian. Meanwhile, 76.7 percent of Indo-Fijians are Hindus (with the rest being Sikhs, Muslims, or Christians). Therefore, about 30 percent of the population of Fiji is Hindu.

ReligionIndigenous FijianIndo-FijianOthersTOTAL
393,575%338,818%42,684%775,077%
Sanatan5510.1193,06157.03150.7193,92725.0
Arya Samaj440.09,4932.8270.19,5641.2
Kabir Panthi430.0730.020.01180.0
Satya Sai Baba70.0520.010.0600.0
Other Hindu2190.157,09616.91130.357,4287.4
All Hindus8640.2259,77576.74581.1261,09733.7

Persecution

During the late 90's there were several riots against Hindus by radical elements in Fiji. In the spring of 2000, the democratically elected Fijian government led by Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry was held hostage by a group headed by George Speight. They were demanding a segregated state exclusively for the native Fijians, thereby legally abolishing any rights the Hindu inhabitants have. Several dozen Hindu temples have been vandalized or destroyed by arson or looting.

The Methodist Church of Fiji called for the creation of a Christian State and endorsed forceful conversion of Hindus after a coup d'état in 1987.[1]

See also

References

  1. [1].


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