Bishop attacked by street preachers in Lae

Bishop Christian Blouin of Lae Diocese was attacked last month in Lae, Papua New Guinea.

According to the Catholic Professionals Society of PNG (CPSPNG) president, Paul Harricknen, the bishop was attacked when he tried to stop some street preachers carrying pictures of the Pope and cardinals and abusing the Catholic Church.

“When the street preachers were preaching, a Catholic nun walked past the crowd, who were listening to the preaching, and they booed at her,” Harricknen said.

“She was upset so she went and reported the incident to police and also rang Bishop Christian and told him of what the street preachers were saying.”

Harricknen said when Blouin arrived there and approached those street preachers and told them to stop such preaching, the crowd reacted and started throwing stones at the bishop and one hit him on the head.

“This is totally uncalled for and an unprovoked assault, a clear case of people abusing freedom of speech and a breach of the right to freedom of religion of other street preachers.”

“Their actions, without doubt, amounted to criminal offence of breach of the peace, assault and spreading false rumours and we want to know what the Lae police has done or is doing with these street preachers.”

Subsequently Lae Met Supt Iven Lakatani cautioned the public speakers after he had confirmed that he had received a complaint.

He said street preachers should stick to the Word of God rather than discriminate against or criticise other denominations in public.

“Nobody is stopping them (street preachers) from preaching in public places. But I have been advising them to avoid preaching in places or locations that are risky,” Lakatani said.

Deputy Prime Minister Leo Dion has called for respect among churches when preaching the gospel.

“Churches need to respect each other’s faith,’’ said Dion.

“The government needs the churches to work with it in addressing the spiritual and physical welfare of the people and in our development planning.

“Such messages being preached on the streets are disrespectful to the Catholic faith and it’s deceitful because it is misleading the public,’’ Dion said.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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