Churches & religion Feed

How Palnge & Simbil built a new community

Paul Minga
City dwellers take shots with skyscrapers in the background or holding a whisky or SP. Others stand in front of 5-door cruiser or in their office. As a bush writer and adventurer, this scene is appropriate for me and where l think l belong

PAUL MINGA
| Ples Singsing

PORT MORESBY - My late mum, Agatha, would tell me stories of what transpired before her eyes in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

It was a time when pioneer Catholic missionaries established mission stations and schools in various parts of the Wahgi Valley and further into the Jimi and other places.

Continue reading "How Palnge & Simbil built a new community" »


The naïveté of desiring a state religion

CapturePHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - The recent report of the Constitutional Law Reform Commission recommended changes to Papua New Guinea’s Constitution to officially make it a Christian country.

Such a move, should parliament endorse it as seems likely despite some strong opposition, has many intriguing possibilities.

Continue reading "The naïveté of desiring a state religion" »


Review recommends PNG become Christian state

Chairman Kevin Isifu presents final report of Declare PNG as a Christian Country Review to prime minister James Marape
Chairman Kevin Isifu presents the 'Declare PNG as a Christian Country Review' to prime minister James Marape

NEWS DESK
| PNG Bulletin Online

PORT MORESBY – If Papua New Guinea is constitutionally declared a Christian country, this will not change the rights of people to follow other religions, faiths or beliefs, says Constitutional Law Reform Commission (CLRC) chairman Kevin Isifu.

Mr Isufu made these remarks when presenting the final report of a review investigating whether the Constitution should be changed to declare PNG a Christian country.

Continue reading "Review recommends PNG become Christian state" »


Splendid Bahá’í dome signals unity

Bahai-house-of-worship-superstructure
The dome of the Bahá’í House of Worship has become a prominent landmark in the Waigani area of Port Moresby (Shannon Ambu)

OFFICE OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
| Bahá’í World News Service

PORT MORESBY - A major milestone has been reached with the completion of the complex steel structure of the Bahá’í House of Worship in Port Moresby.

This development comes after hundreds of steel components were individually positioned and linked with nine steel meshes to complete the dome structure on which the support frame was raised.

Continue reading "Splendid Bahá’í dome signals unity" »


The marvellous Queen of Paradise Orchestra

Orchestra performing for parliamentarians  2019
The orchestra performing for parliamentarians at Vanimo in 2019

HAZEL KUTKUE
| Sipikriva Girl | Edited extracts

BUTAWENG – The Queen of Paradise Orchestra was established beside the sea in idyllic Baro Village in West Sepik in August 2018

The orchestra and its classical music school are the brainchild of the religious family of the incarnate word working in Vanimo, who were inspired by a similar project in Venezuela.

Continue reading "The marvellous Queen of Paradise Orchestra" »


We need rationality in our leaders

Solar systemCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - Religion, by its very nature, requires that the faithful accept supernatural explanations for events in the material world in which we all live.

Consequently, religion frequently is irrational, anti-intellectual and anti-scientific.

In its more extreme forms it offers sociological and political ideas - like those of the Pentecostal movement - that are disguised as religious insights, hence the notion that becoming wealthy is a sign of God's favour.

Continue reading "We need rationality in our leaders" »


State, church & the Adventists

Alfred Kranz
Pastor Alfred Kranz (1900-93) was a respected church leader who in World War II persuaded the Australian government to recognise the legitimacy of his students

PETER KRANZ

MORRISET - It is true, as Phil Fitzpatrick has written, that that Seventh Day Adventists are socially and politically conservative.

It should be recognised, though, that much moderation of their worldview has taken place since the 1970s, when several theological disputes rocked the church.

They generally do not get involved in politics believing in the separation of church and state.

Continue reading "State, church & the Adventists" »


The religious nutters who govern us

Scott Morrison
Prime minister Scott Morrison's Pentecostalism worries many Australians because of its extreme theology

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Both the Australian and Papua New Guinean constitutions contain sections related to the separation of the state and religion.

Section 116 of the Australian constitution is very explicit. It says:

“The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.”

Continue reading "The religious nutters who govern us" »


More churches come out against casino

SlotQUINETH WANGORO
| Kalang FM

PORT MORESBY - Church members of the Body of Christ have joined the Catholic and other churches in expressing great concern about the government’s intention to build a casino in Papua New Guinea.

An agreement was signed last Friday by the National Gaming Control Board and Paga Hill Development for the construction of a casino at the Stanley Hotel in Port Moresby.

Continue reading "More churches come out against casino" »


One People: A vision for unity in diversity

Artist's mpression of the Baha'i house of worship now under construction in Port Moresby
Artist's impression of the Baha'i house of worship now under construction in Port Moresby

THE BAHA’I FAITH IN PNG
Office of External Affairs | Edited extracts

Edited extracts from a submission to the Constitutional Law Reform Commission in response to the public inquiry into declaring Papua New Guinea a Christian country. Link here to read the full submission

PORT MORESBY - From the outset, the Baha’i Faith upholds and affirms our oneness as a people and we acknowledge that a vital component of our collective identity is our diversity.

Indeed, our country is a paradigm of diverse peoples, myriads of cultures and languages accompanied by respective beliefs, intricately woven together to form a complete whole.

Continue reading "One People: A vision for unity in diversity" »


The Catholic bishops have got it right

Archbishop Anton Bal
Archbishop Anton Bal - "The democratic system of government established by the founding fathers is not to be renounced in favour of a theocratic one"

GABRIEL KUMAN
| Lecturer, Divine Word University

“We believe that the democratic system of government established by the founding fathers of the nation is not to be renounced in favour of a theocratic one embodied in a confessional state. Instead the government could opt for a public declaration of renewed Christian commitment to promote cooperation between the churches and parliament” - Anton Bal, Archbishop of Madang, Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea

MADANG - Thank you Catholic Bishops Conference for speaking on behalf of more than one million Catholics and other citizens of Papua New Guinea as a whole.

Those so-called pastors of other Christian churches - that hid behind the scenes and advised the prime minister and other politicians to amend the Constitution - had ulterior motives.

Continue reading "The Catholic bishops have got it right" »


Bishops oppose Christian nation move

Catholic BishopsKEITH JACKSON
| Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG & Solomon Islands

NOOSA - The Catholic Bishops Conference has expressed dissatisfaction at the Marape government’s lack of consultation with churches in initiating an inquiry about whether Papua New Guinea should be declared ‘a Christian country’.

“All considered, we do not deem it necessary to introduce amendments to the current PNG Constitution,” the bishops said in a statement.

Continue reading "Bishops oppose Christian nation move" »


Christian constitution: what a bad idea

SeparationCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - The long and appalling history of religious influence on politics is so well documented that it is startling that prime minister James Marape should even contemplate writing a particular religion, in this case Christianity, into Papua New Guinea’s constitution.

A key axiom of any modern state should be a clear separation between church and state.

Continue reading "Christian constitution: what a bad idea" »


Does PNG need a ‘Christian country’ declaration?

Declaration
"The government has to recognise that declaring PNG a Christian country can prove detrimental to national unity"

SCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My Country

LAE - The Papua New Guinea government has begun a survey to draw public views on a proposal to change the constitution to declare PNG a Christian country.

The Constitutional Law Reform Commission is taking carriage of the task.

Continue reading "Does PNG need a ‘Christian country’ declaration?" »


The continuing mission of a man of peace

Philip
Philip Kai Morre - committed to his God, his church and his people

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Philip Kai Morre – a regular contributor to our Comments section from Kundiawa in Papua New Guinea - graduated from St Fidelis College in Alexishafen in 1980.

He then completed a preparatory spiritual year in the Catholic Church at Erave in 1981 before progressing to the Holy Spirit Seminary in Bomana near Port Moresby.

Continue reading "The continuing mission of a man of peace" »


Grand-daughter's story of a pioneering pastor

Early mission patrol in the Enga region (Harold Freund)
Early mission patrol in the Enga region (Harold Freund)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Mugang Mugarewec Bitengere- A Pioneer Missionary to the Highlands of New Guinea by Gabby Mugang, Marapa Publications, Waigani, 2018, K100 from the author at mbcpng@gmail.com

TUMBY BAY - The early Lutheran missionaries in the highlands relied very heavily on their Papua New Guinean pastors and evangelists to spread their message and extend their influence.

Continue reading "Grand-daughter's story of a pioneering pastor" »


Christmas for atheists

St nicholas
St Nicholas - definitely not an atheist but a rich man who used his wealth to alleviate suffering

PHIL FITZPATRICK
| Published in PNG Attitude, 25 December 2016

TUMBY BAY - I was about eight years old when I realised that organised religion was a giant confidence trick.

The thing that made me aware of this was my mother’s plan to send me to the local Catholic school.

We’d just moved out of the migrant hostel after arriving in Australia from England and I was bound to a new school.

Continue reading "Christmas for atheists" »


The unChristianity of becoming a Christian state

Secularity v christianityROBIN OGE
| DevPolicy Blog

PORT MORESBY - In a recent article, Dr Eugene Ezebilo of the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute asserts that “PNG’s Constitution does not recognise Christianity as the country’s religion”.

He proposes that if PNG wants to be a Christian state, Section 45 of the Constitution should be amended to specifically recognise Christianity as the state religion and a state church be established.

Continue reading "The unChristianity of becoming a Christian state" »


Mercy Works Goroka deals with Covid-19

 (Mercy Works)
Alphonsa and Judy prepare to sew masks at Mercy Works in Goroka

MERCY WORKS
| Catholic Outlook

PARRAMATTA, NSW - The people of Papua New Guinea have been hit hard by their government’s declaration of a state of emergency to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Thankfully these measures appear to be working with the number of reported cases remaining low.

The impact, however, on the lives of poorer inhabitants has been devastating.

Continue reading "Mercy Works Goroka deals with Covid-19" »


Soldier without a weapon

Chaplain Kakeni
Chaplain Norman Kakeni issuing a bible to a soldier before deployment to Daru

ALEXANDER NARA

PORT MORESBY - Chaplaincy is an intense and profoundly rewarding experience and chaplains play a distinctive role in the military setting.

They are strategically assigned to all military establishments and wherever there are military members, including in combat zones.

Chaplains tender to the spiritual well-being of soldiers regardless of religious background, provide confidential counselling and help personnel meet challenges in areas like religious education, ethics and morale.

Continue reading "Soldier without a weapon" »


Lessons I have learned

Justin Kundalin
Justin Kundain - five lessons to share with friends

JUSTIN KUNDALIN

PORT MORESBY – It was the greatest moment for me. Last November I graduated with a diploma in pastoral ministry.

Having been brought up in a dysfunctional home where my parents eventually divorced, I had grown up without a moral anchor. To me the words ‘dad’ and ‘mammy’ were strange.

Continue reading "Lessons I have learned" »


The calling of Sr Dorothy MSC

Sr Dorothy Fabritze MSC with Sr Bernard Overkamp MSC whom she met in PNG
Sr Dorothy Fabritze MSC with Sr Bernard Overkamp MSC whom she met in PNG

MICHELLE N LYNCH
| The Reading Eagle | Extracts

READING, USA - Bushwhacking her way through the jungles of the South Pacific was just the sort of adventure Sister Dorothy Fabritze, now 72, imagined when, as a young teen, she felt called to join the Missionary Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The international order, known as MSC, was founded in 1900 to work in the island area of Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "The calling of Sr Dorothy MSC" »


That their names may live on

Rev James Chalmers - Tamate
Rev James Chalmers (Tamate) - his name & the names of many other heroes of PNG will be remembered forever

DANIEL KUMBON

WABAG - Today, 8 April, is the anniversary of the untimely death of Rev James Chalmers – ‘Tamate’ – who was killed and cannibalised along with Rev Oliver Tomkins and local missionaries on Goaribari Island in Western Province 119 years ago.

When I think about their horrible deaths, the names of four friends come to mind who were all posted to serve in the Western Province at some stage of their careers in the 20th century.

Continue reading "That their names may live on" »


Coronavirus forces changes to SDA program

Goroka_church
SDA church in Goroka

NEWS DESK
| Adventist Record | Edited

MARYLAND, USA - Preachers from other parts of the South Pacific will no longer be going to Papua New Guinea for a harvest program scheduled for May.

Church officers consulted with the PNG Union Mission about the inherent risks of the coronavirus pandemic before taking the difficult decision.

Continue reading "Coronavirus forces changes to SDA program" »


Fr Jerry Bus & the Enga

Sir Albert Kipalan (with spade) on the spot where Fr Jerry Bus settled at Kopen
Sir Albert Kipalan (with spade) on the spot where Fr Jerry Bus settled at Kopen

DANIEL KUMBON

PORT MORESBY – In 1948, there was a sudden rush by Christian denominations to establish mission stations after the colonial Administration lifted restrictions of movement to unpacified areas of what is now Enga Province.

Prior to that there had already been rivalry between Lutheran and Catholic missionaries to win new converts around Mt Hagen.

Continue reading "Fr Jerry Bus & the Enga" »


Providing the water of life

The Aruamu people drill a new well (Tim Wint)
The Aruamu people drill a new well (Tim Wint)

JOHN HALL
| Baptist Standard

PLANO, TEXAS - For years, Marsha Realya-Miles had prayed for 36 remote villages in Papua New Guinea. She lived in them and ministered among them.

She and her husband created the first written language for many of the Aruamu people. They translated the first New Testament in that language in 2005.

Soon, the first complete Bible in the Aruamu’s language will be published.

They knew people in these isolated places thirsted for the Living Water that is Jesus Christ, as well as clean drinking water that wouldn’t make the children sick and cut their own lives short.

The couple first arrived in 1986 as Pioneer Bible translators. The field was fertile spiritually, and people responded. Churches were started—and even a Bible college. The gospel took root and is flourishing.

Physical water proved more challenging. Realya-Miles tried every avenue she could find.

Local drillers couldn’t get their equipment in. Some non-profit organisations could drill the well but weren’t working in the area. Others could teach churches how to drill a well.

Then she learned about Texas Baptist Men.

“We were the only people who could do both drill wells and teach churches how to do it,” said DeeDee Wint, vice president of TBM water ministry.

“We couldn’t get it out of our minds. We felt God impressed it upon on hearts. We had to do it. We don’t decline projects just because it’s hard.”

For Wint and her husband, Tim, it didn’t matter that it took three days to get from Texas to the Papua New Guinea villages. Or that it took three days to gather supplies or another day crossing World War II-era bridges to get where they needed to be. Or even the notion of sleeping in open bamboo huts with little electricity and no running water.

All that mattered was the need and God’s call to meet it.

Still, with the rainy season nearing, it seemed all the effort to drill a well in late November would be for naught. When the rains begin, transportation in or out of the villages is impossible.

After two weeks of hard work, it came down to one day. If they were successful, the first village would have clean water. If not, the entire effort would have to wait another year.

“People doubted that it could be done but they had underestimated God’s people. We were amazed at the Aruamu people’s capacity to learn, their physical strength, their faith in God and their positive attitude.

“They didn’t see obstacles. When something went wrong, they just figured out how to fix it—no complaining, no doubts,” DeeDee Wint said.

“At one point, we thought the borehole had caved in on the bit 40 feet down. If this happens, you cannot only lose the borehole; you will likely lose the bit and drill pipe. Replacements are in Utah.

“After prayer and discussion, they just went back and started drilling again, and it worked. We still don’t know exactly what happened. It was another God thing.”

The entire community participated in the effort. The hope and desire of the village was clear as they worked together for the betterment of all.

“The entire village came and watched and helped,” DeeDee Wint said. “The ladies carried water. The men worked the rig. The children dug clay out of the ground and made clay marbles to seal the borehole below the surface. When it was done, it was a community accomplishment.”

When the community dedicated the well, tears filled people’s eyes. When a child filled a five-gallon container with clean drinking water, people felt they were seeing the impossible. Several individuals remarked how God had shown himself to be “plenty big” enough to meet their needs.

A local church team, Aruamu Water Projects, has the TBM drill and can use it in other villages.

DeeDee Wint dedicates a new well (Tim Wint)
DeeDee Wint dedicates a new well (Tim Wint)

To qualify for a well, a village must raise 15% of the needed funds, form a committee to care for the well and have at least one toilet. Already, communities are working to become eligible.

Another TBM team will visit the area in June to further train and drill more wells and encourage the church.

Everywhere the church goes with its drill, lives will be changed.

“They will be healthier because they’re not drinking out of a contaminated river,” DeeDee Wint said. “With open defecation everywhere, the water is quite bad. They are sick all the time.”

Church members also will share the gospel as they drill each well. People will be healthier physically and spiritually. It is a visible reminder of how God loves his people, the Wints noted.


Catholic church expresses PNG concern

Cardinal Pietro Parolin in Port Moresby  2018
Cardinal Pietro Parolin visiting Port Moresby in 2018

ROBIN GOMES
| Vatican News

ROME - Caritas PNG and the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands have expressed concern about illegal activities, prostitution, drug dealing and money laundering in the country.

The PNG church said it wants to collaborate with the police force in fighting these crimes.

Continue reading "Catholic church expresses PNG concern" »


Missionary sisters expect miracles

Villagers near the town of Bereina in Central Province
Villagers near the town of Bereina in Central Province

ZENIT
| Catholic Leader

BEREINA - When the villagers of impoverished Bereina need to quell their famine, they reach for the noxious betel nut.

In the town of Bereina, in the Central Province of Papua New Guinea, the addictive seed, which is prohibited in Australia, is often the only food source for the local villagers.

Continue reading "Missionary sisters expect miracles" »


Christianity is a good fit for PNG

Mass at a church in Papua New Guinea (Michal Knitl  Shutterstock.com)
Mass at a church in PNG (Michal Knitl,  Shutterstock.com)

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - One of the distinguishing features of human beings is our ability to create myths and stories.

These narratives entertain but also perform a much more important role in setting ethical and behavioural standards.

Some of the greatest mythical inventions appear as religious texts, like the Bible and the Koran, but there are also secular myths that serve the same purpose.

Continue reading "Christianity is a good fit for PNG" »


God, violence & women’s subordination

Vaw
"In effect the churches blame the wife for the beatings and violence her husband has inflicted on her"

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - In the first of a series of recent articles on gender and Christianity on The Conversation website it is suggested that a literal translation of the bible may be contributing to domestic violence.

In a self-declared Christian nation like Papua New Guinea, with very high levels of violence against women and children, this discussion has particular relevance.

Continue reading "God, violence & women’s subordination" »


Dancing with tears of joy

Alphonse Mek
Alphonse Mek - "Sometimes I dreamed of becoming a doctor or a lawyer. Other times I imagined forming a gang"

ALPHONSE MEK

Alphonse Mek is minister of Mt Kora Adventist Church in Jiwaka Province. He graduated with an advanced diploma in theology from Sonoma Adventist College on Sunday 24 November

ENGA - We all have our own dreams and plans, but to realise those aspirations takes a lot of time, determination and perseverance.

I have seen and felt and tasted the pain of trying to get a good education.

Continue reading "Dancing with tears of joy" »


Kuplam SDA’s drug-drunk conversion

SDA program
More than 500 people attended a program to try to rid Enga society of drug-taking and drunkenness

PORAP GAI

LAIAGAM - Kuplam Seventh Day Adventist church is in Komaip village beside the police station not far away from Laiagam station.

It’s just a right turn from the road to Porgera gold mine amongst the tribes of the Lyen, Samb, Tee and Waiten people, highly populated groups but with many illiterates and a lot of drug use and other illegal activities.

Continue reading "Kuplam SDA’s drug-drunk conversion" »


His Voice singing in the Wild West

His Voice Singers
Enga’s  Seventh Day Adventist His Voice singers, their voices echoing in the woods of Laiagam, Porgera and Mt Kare

PORAP GAI

LAIAGAM - His Voice is the singing ministry of the Seventh Day Adventist church in Enga.

The group was formed in 2019 by men and boys from Tee, Paiyan, Walian and other neighbouring tribesmen of Paip SDA church in Mamal village in the Laiagam District.

On social media, people in our country and even the world can see our own Wild West of the three Engan districts of Laiagam, Kandep and Porgera fighting wars and losing lives.

Continue reading "His Voice singing in the Wild West" »


There's always hope in the storm

Alphonse Mek
Alphonse Mek - "One thing I know from my life is that struggle and hardship can shape you as a person"

ALPHONSE MEK

SONOMA – I’m Alphonse Mek, originally from Enga and later from Jiwaka and Western Highlands provinces.

I come from a background of struggle.

My father, Pok Kyngal, died when I was about six years old. Just before he died he took me in his loving harms and cried as I watched. This memory is fresh in me.

Continue reading "There's always hope in the storm" »


Cardinal Ribat: Let's protect our islands

Pope Francis Cardinal Ribat
Pope Francis and Cardinal Ribat, who asks: "“Where will we be after all these islands are gone?”

MBIKOYEZU JOHN
| Vatican News

THE VATICAN - As the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region ended recently, Cardinal John Ribat of Papua New Guinea said he could identify with most of the topics that were discussed.

Cardinal Ribat, the Archbishop of Port Moresby, said that there are many similarities between Papua New Guinea and the Amazon region and many topics resonated with what is happening in PNG.

Continue reading "Cardinal Ribat: Let's protect our islands" »


Pope appoints new bishop of Kimbe

John Bosco Auram
John Bosco Auram - the new bishop of Kimbe has had a distinguished upbringing in the church

NEWS DESK
| Vatican News

THE VATICAN - In Papua New Guinea on Friday, Pope Francis appointed Father John Bosco Auram as the new bishop of Kimbe Diocese in West New Britain.

The Pope appointed the 47-year old priest in the place of Capuchin bishop William Regis Fey who reached the retirement age of 75 last year.

Continue reading "Pope appoints new bishop of Kimbe" »


10% to churches, yes, but is the timing right?

Hands on
Jeff Febi - "Assisting church-run agencies by giving them 10% of the dividends from state owned enterprises is a noble move, but is the timing right?"

JEFFREY FEBI

LUFA - The government's supplementary budget went big on expenditure cuts to plug a big dark deficit hole of about K4.6 billion.

This hole was dug by the government of former prime minister Peter O'Neill through creative but reckless spending on Port Moresby-centric infrastructure development.

Some urban centres throughout Papua New Guinea might have gained one or two infrastructure investments while others missed out entirely.

Continue reading "10% to churches, yes, but is the timing right?" »


Viet detainees return to families thanks to Sr Teresa

Sister Teresa and detainees
Sister Teresa and Vietnamese detainees - ensuring that barriers to freedom  and justice are overcome

FR AMBROSE PEREIRA
| Asia News

PORT MORESBY– Young migrants, refugees and people detained in Papua New Guinea struggle to overcome the barriers of language and culture as they seek to get back to their homeland or a third country.

They experience not just separation from their places of origin but also cultural and religious uprooting.

This is where the Church can serve as a reference point for these people. “The Church has an important role and can bring new life to them” (Christus vivit, Chap 3, par 93).

Continue reading "Viet detainees return to families thanks to Sr Teresa" »


Australia must ‘lead through kindness’ on refugees & climate

Giorgio Licini
Fr Giorgio Licini - "“Arrogance and a refusal to listen will isolate the big south island, leaving the smaller ones in the vast ocean with no choice but to turn to Asia"

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – A prominent Catholic priest in Papua New Guinea says Australia, as the region’s richest and biggest nation, should “lead through kindness” in the south-west Pacific and show “solidarity and inclusiveness”.

Writing in the PNG Catholic Reporter, Fr Giorgio Licini said the PNG government and civil society also have a responsibility because of their “central position among the family of nations in the Pacific [to] raise their voice regarding the current most pressing issues”.

Fr Giorgio enumerated these as Australia’s attitudes to offshore detention, refusing to acknowledge the negative environmental impact of coal burning and making “access and work difficult for other members of the Pacific family”.

Continue reading "Australia must ‘lead through kindness’ on refugees & climate" »


Peace came to the valley – and it all started at home

BRAD WATSON | Adventist Record | Edited

Peace-in-the-valley
Recent literacy graduates from the Guna-Goreku people of Simbu, who seem to have found a sustainable peace

KUNDIAWA - The air is filled with smoke rising languidly above mounds of black ash. Women and children hide in the forest, terrified of those who have stripped their fields and herded away their pigs.

In the distance, a decrepit school stands idly, empty of laughter or the sounds of teachers scolding students. A small church, recently filled with sounds of song and praise, is the only building that is untouched.

Over a ridge, a widow watches a sweet potato roasting on a bed of glowing ash. She is worried. Her hands tremble. Recently a man in her clan died after a long illness. Some of the relatives are saying she is responsible.

They huddle together and whisper. A witch, one says. A sorcerer, says another. A Dracula. For that is the new word they use for the likes of her. She has done nothing but fears what will happen when the relatives of the deceased man return to her house.

Continue reading "Peace came to the valley – and it all started at home" »


Galkope (except 9 lepers) celebrate 70 years in the Catholic faith

Neragaima Catholic Mission
Neragaima Catholic Mission

KELA KAPKORA SIL BOLKIN

PORT MORESBY - Galkope men’s houses (hausman), in what is now the Simbu Province, schooled young boys of the Dom, Yuri, Bari and Erula Nauro tribes, which had colonised their territories by migrating from different lands.

The Dom evolved out of Dlekopl while the Yuri walked east through the Wahgi valley. Erula 1-4 evolved out of Monguma, while the Bari arrived at Dukul Mormapir from the Gena-Nogar.

These four tribes, now referred to as Galkope, converged and settled on either sides of the Kola-Kawa River alongside an existing tribe, the Teklau-Baimane.

The Teklau-Baimane settled at Olkaipel, Mekul, Kaluvalu and the vicinity - but fled west after killing Yuri Alaibia before the coming of the Makruai, and settled at Kerual Apane in Jiwaka Province. To this day the older people still speak the Nauro-Bari language.

Against this backdrop, the Roman Catholic Church arrived unexpectedly and settled at Mingende just after the Makruai. The church extended its influence to new lands and built a new mission station at Yopar. The Gakwane and the Erula Nauro people were excited about the opportunities the church brought to their midst.

Continue reading "Galkope (except 9 lepers) celebrate 70 years in the Catholic faith" »


On Australian mission, Fr Giorgio says refugee crisis worsening

Fr Giorgio Licini
Fr Giorgio Licini - “You cannot keep people in those conditions indefinitely; you destroy them. And who allows you to destroy people?”

PETER BUGDEN | The Catholic Leader

BRISBANE - A senior priest in Papua New Guinea has turned to Australia seeking compassion for refugees and asylum seekers languishing in our nation’s off-shore detention system.

Fr Giorgio Licini, general secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG and Solomon Islands, has been in Australia in recent weeks pressing the case for an end to what he calls “a humanitarian crisis”.

Fr Licini has called for the Australian government to resolve the situation on humanitarian grounds.

Speaking as a missionary from PNG – a member of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions – and as a church man, Fr Licini said “we don’t necessarily question the policies of government in terms of border protection … but in this specific case I would say, see now the humanitarian crisis”.

Continue reading "On Australian mission, Fr Giorgio says refugee crisis worsening" »


Islam in PNG: Long journey towards tolerance & understanding

Imam of Mt Hagen  Ahmad Didat
Imam of Mt Hagen, Ahmad Didat - “When I built this mosque, I was alone. Then the community came"

SCOTT WAIDE | EMTV

LAE – At midday, as a small group of men and boys prepare for Friday Prayers in Kagamuga, Western Highlands, a local Imam makes the Muslim call to prayer.

The Arabic language sounds very foreign here. This is one of the few Islamic communities in the Western Highlands finding its way in a country that describes itself as predominantly Christian.

Inside the small mosque, the men and boys line up in front as the prayers begin. The women, as per Islamic teaching, are in another room.

“When I built this mosque, I was alone. I had not received any formal training yet when I converted to Islam,” says the local Imam, Ahmad Didat. “Then the boys nearby came and joined me. Then the community came.”

Continue reading "Islam in PNG: Long journey towards tolerance & understanding" »


Religious pretensions no basis for good government

Sr Ellen White
Sister Ellen White - Seventh Day Adventist church founder and remembered as a prophet and oyster eater

PETER KRANZ

MORRISET, NSW - So now there are three Seventh Day Adventists in important positions in Papua New Guinea.

There’s new prime minister James Marape, chief justice Gibbs Salika and the parliamentary speaker Job Pomat.

Well I won't criticise them for their religious beliefs. Oh hell, I'll have a go anyway. And I feel somewhat qualified to pass judgement.

My great-grandfather was the first ordained SDA pastor in the Pacific and Australia. And both my grandad and dad were SDA pastors. That’s three generations before I arrived.

Great-grandfather received a testimony from Sister Ellen White, founder of the church and widely regarded amongst adherents as a prophet from God.

My grandmother had afternoon tea with Sr White at Sunnyside in Avondale in the late 1890s. The house still stands this day and is near where I live.

So I grew up in the SDA, and believe me it is no less open to charges of hypocrisy and procrastination than any other church.

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The implications of Rugby’s persecution of Israel Folau

Israel Folau
Israel Folau "has not sought to persecute; all he has done is issue a heartfelt, albeit misdirected, warning"

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - The appalling decision by the politically correct pedants at Rugby Australia to terminate Israel Folau’s contract for the apparently heinous offence of posting a comment on his religious beliefs has set a very dangerous precedent.

I’m not particularly inclined to get excited about grown men chasing a leather ball around a paddock nor am I inclined to believe in supreme beings but I am inclined to believe that people like Israel Folau have a perfect right to say what they believe without fear of persecution.

What he said is what he believes. He was born in New South Wales of Tongan parents. As a Pacific Islander his profound religious beliefs come as no surprise.

That he felt the need to warn people who are different to him of the imputed biblical consequences of those differences, irrelevant as that may be, is also not particularly unusual.

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Kenmore Catholics’ trash buys a new boat for Milne Bay priest

Fr Mark Franklin
Fr Mark Franklin - his Kenmore parish is cleaning up the environment while assisting the Catholic church in Milne Bay

NICK HOLT | Catholic Leader

BRISBANE - Kenmore parish has furthered its commitment to Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home by turning recyclables into foreign aid donations.

The parish has collected more than 4,000 recyclable containers like bottles, cans and cardboard, which earn 10 cents per unit under the Queensland government initiative Containers for Cash.

The funds collected by the parish were used to buy a boat for a Papua New Guinean bishop.

“We had a parishioner come to us last year about helping buy a small boat for Fr Sam Phasz, a priest of the Province of Milne Bay in the Diocese of Alotau-Sideia,” said parish priest Fr Mark Franklin.

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