Catholics oppose proposal to ban non Christian religions in PNG

The spokesman for Papua New Guinea’s bishops has condemned a proposal, introduced in parliament, by the governor of one of the Papua New Guinea’s 22 provinces, to ban non Christian religions.

Last Friday, Hela province  governor, Anderson Agiru, moved a motion to carry out a nationwide consultation on the question of religious freedom and whether to ban non Christian religions.

The motion was passed with the unanimous support of both sides of the House.

Le Parlement de Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée a lancé en fin de semaine dernière un débat concernant l’éventuelle déclaration du christianisme comme seule religion dans cet État mélanésien de sept millions d’habitants, avec en corollaire l’éventualité d’interdiction de tout autre forme de culte. Vendredi 12 juillet 2013, le Parlement papou a commencé par adopter à l’unanimité une motion visant à lancer une consultation nationale sur les questions de liberté du culte dans ce pays, avec l’intention de demander au peuple si les autres religions que le christianisme devraient ou pas être interdites.

“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.”

“Nobody can be prevented from professing his or her own beliefs both in a private and a public manner,” Licini said.

In a statement before moving the motion, Agiru said the national pledge in the constitution specifically and unequivocally states that Papua New Guinea shall be a Christian country.

“The question of whether we allow other kinds of faiths to be introduced in Papua New Guinea is the question and that question now needs to be asked.”

“For me when they say it’s a Christian country it says God Trinity. That is what I believe in and that is what the constitution is promoting so in the end I want to see if the people of Papua New Guinea, the Churches and everyone agree that all forms of other religions which are not Christian must be banned from Papua New Guinea,” Governor Agiru said.

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

“The time is right for us in this ninth Parliament to write a new chapter in the national book. We cannot be people who write footnotes and simple sentences. The constitution of the country has been delivered to us and we now have to take it to the next level.”





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