PNG Lead­ers Need to Make Stand Against Sor­cery-re­lated Vi­o­lence: Mis­sion­ary

Fiji Sun - - Pacific News - RNZI Feed­back: jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj

ALutheran mis­sion­ary in Pa­pua New Guinea’s High­lands says gov­ern­ment lead­ers need to make a stand against sor­cery re­lated vi­o­lence. An­ton Lutz said a per­fect storm of tra­di­tional spir­i­tual be­liefs mixed with lo­cal in­ter­pre­ta­tions of Chris­tian­ity have re­sulted in a marked in­crease in vi­o­lence in which the vic­tims are ac­cused of sor­cery.

Mr Lutz was in­volved in dis­cus­sions about the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Sor­cery Na­tional Ac­tion Plan to deal with the vi­o­lence.

He said re­search pro­grammes, health and ed­u­ca­tion un­der­pin the plan as well as the res­cue and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of vic­tims, but it would need greater po­lit­i­cal sup­port. “We need lead­ers in this coun­try to stand up and say ‘this is not the way that Pa­pua New Guineans be­have and what you peo­ple are do­ing is un­ac­cept­able’ and I think that mes­sage needs to be com­ing all the way from the top and get­ting all the way to the bot­tom.” “The whole coun­try needs to know that the gov­ern­ment of this coun­try does not ac­cept this, and that has to be clear to every­one,” he said.

He said re­search pro­grammes, health and ed­u­ca­tion un­der­pin the plan as well as the res­cue and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of vic­tims, but it would need greater po­lit­i­cal sup­port.

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