PNG – Highland Bishops attack sorcery

In an unprecedented move the Catholic Bishops of the Papua New Guinea Highlands Region have made a strong attack on sorcery refuting in particular the deeply entrenched traditional belief of sanguma, based on which human death is allegedly caused by sorcerers.

This leads to persecution and killing of innocent people conveniently identified with the weakest and defenceless in society. Instead, “If someone gets sick, don’t even talk about sanguma. The only power sanguma has comes from people talking about it and fearing it”, write the five bishops of whom two, Arnold Orowae of Wabag and Anton Bal of Kundiawa (coordinator of the group), are men from the Highlands.

PNG plunged into a crisis a few months ago when a young mother was burned alive in Mt. Hagen following allegations of having caused the sickness and death of a small boy. Government enhanced tougher legislation, but law enforcement agencies will not be able to cope unless the cultural and spiritual change the bishops intend to spearhead takes place.

Read Bishop’s Statement


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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