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Bishops condemn ban on non-Christian religions


THE SPOKESMAN FOR Papua New Guinea’s bishops has condemned a proposal, introduced in parliament by the governor of one of the nation’s 22 provinces, to ban non-Christian religions.

“It is not by banning other faiths that we become more Christian,” Father Giorgio Licini said in a statement posted on the bishops’ website.

“Christianity may well define some sort of cultural identity for modern Papua New Guinea and its 850 tribes; but never forget that true faith is something much beyond constitutional provisions, legal books, and even daily practices.

“And nobody can be prevented from professing his or her own beliefs both in a private and a public manner."

“In the end I want to see if the people of PNG, the churches and everyone agree that all forms of other religions which are not Christian must be banned from Papua New Guinea,” said Governor Anderson Agiru.

“We are a very rich country and yet we still have beggars and hungry people on the street. People are dying everywhere. I think it is time we bring this country under God.”


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Kela Kapkora Sil Bolkin

Christianity is clothed in European culture whilst Islam is clothed in the middle-east culture. Both are foreign cultures. Melanesians have animism.

All three are a culture just like the Trobriand tapioca dance or the Sepik haus tambaran. None is superior to the other.

Here is an analogy to equate your reactions to this article; A Manusian is trying to adopt and teach his children the Trobriand Island dance saying Manus Garamut dance is not aesthetic.

PNG has 850 aesthetic ways of doing things and having reverence for nature and the people. Let the Manus keep their dance and the Trobriand keep their too.

Remember, Jesus Christ was here in the island of New Guinea since time immemorial through the Melanesian faith of animism.

The missionaries just arrived on our shores yesterday to tell us that Jesus was in our midst. They didn’t bring Jesus over from Europe to New Guinea and the Muslims just came a few minutes ago to also tell us the same message.

Caveat; don’t be like a sponge that absorbs any liquid that it is placed into. You don’t need to practice all of these and still be a living saint here on earth.

Steve Muhammad Gallagher

I was made to be a Christian without my consent. This was when I was just a child and now that I am a grown man, can read, and write. Now I have to choose a religion on my own.

Well I am already a Muslim by faith but I respect my Christian friends so who that hell is trying to decide my faith?

Mugau Jerominah

We are a sovereign nation and people have the right to choose whatever and whichever religion to follow.

Above all why is someone proposing that idea when we can not do away with our own Melanesian religion?

Just a thought.

Steve Gallagher

The proposed banning of non-Chiristian religions in PNG does not make any sense in this globalized world.

I suggest Agiru and L Tony should go and study theology and other religions so they have a fair idea of religion.

PNG is dominated by Christian denominations because Christianity was introduced here first. But people have the freedom to choose, a freedom which is a fundamental concept in democracy.

If leaders like the two mentioned want to promote and protect democracy in PNG, why are they doing this?

It seems these two politicans are trying to use religion to meet their political ends. Their actions are more like radical Islamists who use religion for political reasons.

I think all the major religions in the world like Christianity, Islam, Judism, Shantos, Buddism, Taoism, Hinduism etc are based on morality. All religions talk about morality.

Christianity alone cannot help the PNG government to allieviate poverty and crime in PNG. Integration of all religions is vital to combat the increasing social problems in PNG.

Here in PNG, people do not discriminate others' faith. Muslims and Christians and other faiths co-exist.

The actions of these two politicans will not unite but divide the people. I suggest the two politicans should resign now!

Moreover, I am myself and no one has the right to decide my faith; my sovereignty needs to be respected so long as anything I do does to harm other, cause disturbance to the country and it pose a threat to the national security of PNG.

I am just simple, not well educated but I can think smarter than these two well educated PNG politicans.

L Tony is more like a celebrity than a politican and Agiru, the senior politican and statemen, thinks like a little kid to come up with such a rubbish proposal.

I think it time now that PNG should come up with new law that people should stand for national election based on merit and qualification because a politician is a very top job in the country.


Michael Dom

I'm with you Fr Giorgio, if we can't freely choose to follow God it may spell the end of true Christian faith.

An interesting notion about the cultural identity of Christianity to modern Pngians. Maybe many have not truly chosen their religion. But that's all rules and politics. Faith is non-denominational.

Although faith may deal with the unseen and unknown mystery of a Holy God, ignorance is no basis for faith and not a workable route to salvation. Some call this enlightenment.

But that's my opinion and everyone should form their own.

Jeff Febi

Utter nonsense!

Do we all have to be Christians to salvage this country from her hell hole; let alone subscribing to a God or gods?

Malaysia and Singapore are successfull countries! Need we look far to know we don't necessarily need a Christian God to be a successfull country?

If it is fear of other religion, then say so!

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