O’Neill wants churches to lead sorcery fight


The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Peter O’Neill, has called on churches to take the lead in the fight against sorcery accusations and violence against women in villages.

O’Neill said the old mentality and belief in sorcery was affecting the nation in rural and urban areas.

He said the most affected were always women and girls.

O’Neill called on churches to lead in driving awareness in the villages because the government could not go there. He said the elimination of gender-based violence (GBV) and sorcery accusations needed the help of the churches.

“Our churches must identify solutions and address these social issues in our villages and communities, and address it through mission and the word of God,” he said.

“The church has an important role to play among our population by influencing people’s behaviour.”

O’Neill acknowledged church workers in rural areas but said the issues were affecting people.

He said the government was ready to work with churches to address sorcery and gender-based violence.

The prime minister was speaking at Mogl Kagai village in Sinasina-Yongomulg, Chimbu, on the first day of the 31st synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of PNG.

The church’s Bishop Rev Jack Urame said they were ready to work with the government to address issues that were affecting people in rural areas.

Two high-profile sorcery related attacks in January have highlighted how Papua New Guinea’s problem with belief in sorcery is spiralling out of control.

The first attack was on the country’s Chief Justice in his Highlands province.

In the second attack, villagers in Port Moresby attacked a man who they claimed had used sorcery to cause the death Kato Ottio, a former Canterbury Raiders player just days before flying out for a chance to make his first-grade rugby league debut in England’s Super League.

It’s believed Ottio was training with players from Queensland Cup side Papua New Guinea Hunters when he collapsed after a long running session.

He was taken to hospital but fell into a coma and never recovered.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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