Final Resolutions of PCC 10th General Assembly, Honiara, March 2013

By PCC            

HONIARA, Solomon Islands

Tahiti self-determination

The Pacific Conference of Churches General Assembly has called on France, the United Nations, Pacific island countries and the international community to support self-determination in Maohi Nui (Tahiti).

At its 10th General Assembly in Honiara, the Solomon Islands, delegates said decolonization was one of the PCC’s long-standing themes.

A request from the Etaretia Porotetani Maohi (Maohi Protestant Church) to the assembly called for support for the re-inscription of Tahiti onto the UN’s decolonization list.

The church said the Maohi people must be allowed to decide for themselves on the sovereignty of their nation.

Delegates recognized God’s gift of freedom to be self-determining.

They also recognized the human rights of all people, in particular the right to self-determination of all people and in particular the right to self-determination of all oppressed colonized indigenous people in the world in accordance with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

They called on member churches and the World Council of Churches to support, through advocacy, efforts for the re-inscription of Maohi Nui on the list of countries to be decolonized.

West Papua independence

A programme implemented by Pacific churches will address human rights abuse and independence in West Papua.

The Pacific Conference of Churches 10th General Assembly in Honiara, the Solomon Islands resolved to document effective advocacy on justice and respect for human rights in collaboration with ecumenical partners, civil society and governments.

It will incorporate the human rights situation in West Papua as a strong focal point of PCC’s programmatic work on self-determination for non-self-governing territories and communities and peoples who yearn to be free.

Freedom Sunday

Pacific churches will designate an annual Freedom Sunday to pray for island countries and people who are not free.

At its 10th General Assembly in Honiara, the Solomon Islands, delegates agreed to encourage the French authorities to fulfil their obligations and provide all necessary means for the economic, social and cultural, environmental development of the Maohi people.

The PCC delegates agreed to facilitate awareness building in churches, with their partners and networks about the injustices suffered by the victims of nuclear testing in the region.

They agreed to design and implement advocacy activities at multiple levels targeting such injustices and using the thematic areas of praying, speaking out and acting together.

And they agreed the PCC Secretariat would facilitate regional dialogue among its members to raise awareness on nuclear testing.

Nuclear testing

Pacific churches will fight for the compensation of people affected by nuclear testing.

At its 10th General Assembly in Honiara, the Solomon Islands, delegates agreed to advocate with the Maohi people a zero-tolerance stance on nuclear weapons and testing.

The assembly resolved to build awareness beginning in churches, with partners and networks about the injustices suffered by victims of nuclear testing in the region.

Members will design and implement advocacy at multiple levels targeting such injustices and using the thematic areas of praying, speaking out and acting together.

And a regional dialogue tour among PCC members to raise awareness on the issues of nuclear testing,

Seabed mining

The Pacific Conference of Churches has called for an immediate stop to experimental seabed mining. At its 10th General Assembly in Honiara, the Solomon Islands, delegates said seabed mining was a matter of growing concern in the region.

Over the next five years the PCC will conduct regional advocacy work to create a greater understanding of the long and short term effects of seabed mining.

It will also act on behalf of member countries to advocate at the relevant global levels including the International Seabed authority.

The general assembly resolution came after concerns were raised by several island churches.

Solidarity on mining

Churches throughout the region will develop specific positions on mining, tourism, fisheries and forestry in a resolution passed in Honiara.

Member churches agreed to call on their governments to stand in solidarity with the people of the region who were struggling with the challenges and negative impacts of mining in their communities.

At its 10th Pacific Conference of Churches General Assembly in Honiara, the Solomon Islands, delegates agreed there was a need to facilitate the concerns of members by engaging on the issue with agencies such as the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Melanesian spearhead Group.

End HIV-AIDS stigmatisation

Pacific churches have called for an end to the stigmatization of people suffering from HIV and AIDS.

Delegates at the Pacific Conference of Churches 10th General Assembly in Honiara, the Solomon Islands, called for the inclusion of people with HIV and AIDS.

They also called for the voices and concerns of those with HIV and AIDS to be heard.

To this end the PCC will develop and facilitate a programme on compassion and reconciliation and to include people living with HIV and AIDS in the design and implementation of the programme.

It will work alongside member churches to help dispel stigmas and negative attitudes associated with HIV and AIDS.

Climate change and resettlement

Research into climate-induced resettlement will be a key area of work for the Pacific Conference of Churches over the next five years.

Leaders at the 10th general Assembly in Honiara, the Solomon Islands supported the continuation of climate-induced resettlement research focussing on human rights.

As part of this programme of action there will be an advocacy plan as outlined in the Moana Declaration of 2009.

This plan will look at options for displaced people, explore methods of relocation and ensure the protection of the rights of the displaced people.

Teachers for Chuuk

The Pacific Conference of Churches will provide teachers for schools in Chuuk to help with a shortage in the Micronesian territory.

Member churches will provide the teachers who will also work on youth evangelism and ecumenism. At its 10th Pacific Conference of Churches General Assembly in Honiara, the Solomon Islands, delegates heard of the need for teachers in Chuuk.

A number of countries, including Tonga, have agreed to provide staff members for the project.

The PCC secretariat will also establish a pool of resource people from among its member to assist with the capacity and emergency needs of regional churches.

Arms trade and nuclear weapons

Pacific churches will keep track of arms trading and nuclear proliferation in the region after a resolution passed in Honiara.

Church leaders agreed to monitor the arms trade and initiate awareness raising campaigns on the issue where necessary.

The PCC Secretariat will also increase networking and consultation initiatives with human rights groups in an effort to address the unresolved nuclear legacy in the Pacific.

The resolution came after concerns that gun ownership in the Pacific was 50 per cent higher than the global average and that firearms laws were inconsistent.Image

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Papua New Guinea Christians urge to practice Faith on sorcery.

ImagePapua New Guinea Churches have been achieving serious soul searching treat on sorcery issues in this 21st century. Should Papua New Guinea Government have strong laws for killing related to sorcery?  What do us Christians in PNG and South Pacific say about this?

 

Shocked by the reported brutal torturing and burning alive of a young woman on sorcery accusations on February six this year 2013, churches and their members are now urging Papua New Guinea Government to come up with a strong legislation to deal with growing sorcery-related killings.

 

According to reports, a 20 year old mother of one was burned alive in front of hundreds of people in Papua New Guinea on the accusation of using sorcery to kill a boy aged six years. That barbaric act was highly unacceptable in the 21st century world. Papua New Guinea churches must take this issue seriously and besides tougher legislation, also launched an educational campaign in the country with assistance from Papua New Guinea religious leaders and Christians across Papua New Guinea to act.

 

It is indeed a very wrong action to deal spiritual problem physically. The power of Jesus Christ respects no man, no demon, not even satan and his cohorts. It’s too bad many have not experienced that power. I pray for those who continue to live in fear of things Jesus has disposed them under our feet. We all practicing God loving Christians must take responsibility on how we live our faith and how we share our faith.

 

Our God is powerful; we can confront sorcerers head on with no respect. The answer is not on government and church leaders alone. We practice Christians have the answer to demonstrate that power of God in our lives. There must be power encounters by practice Christians so that they should know that He that is in them is more powerful than he that is in the world.

 

We hear words such as Barbaric; uncivilized untamed animals; public justice – a law unto themselves; horrific; cruel, etc, etc. It brings down the name of a good and proud country, a country were love has been faded in the hearts of men!

 

Case Study 1: au.news.yahoo.com

 

SYDNEY (AFP): PNG women tortured, burned alive in ‘sorcery’ case

February 8,2013

 

A young mother accused of sorcery was stripped naked, doused with petrol and burned alive in front of a crowd including school children in Papua New Guinea, reports said on Thursday.

 

The women, named by The National newspaper as Kepari Leiata, 20, was reportedly tortured with a branding iron and tired up, splashed with fuel and set alight on a pile of rubbish topped with car tyres.

 

According to the rival Post-Courier newspaper she was torched by villagers who claimed she killed a six-year old boy through sorcery, with police outnumbered by onlookers and unable to intervene.

 

A fire truck that responded to the incident, which took place on Wednesday morning in Mount Hagen city in the Western Highlands, was also chased away.

 

 According to the reports, which were accompanied by graphic front-page images of the women’s burning corpse, she admitted to killing the boy, who died after being hospitalized with stomach and chest pains on Tuesday.

 

Police said they were treating the torching as murder and preparing charges against those responsible.

 

There is widespread belief in sorcery in the poverty-stricken Pacific nation where many people do not accept natural cause as an explanation for misfortune, illness, accidents or death.

 

In 1971, the country introduced a Sorcery Act to criminalize the practice. But PNG’s law reform commission recently proposed to repeal it after a rise in attack on peoples thought to practice black magic.

 

Local bishop David Piso said many innocent people had been killed. “Sorcery and sorcery related killing are growing and the government needs to come up with a law to stop such practice,” Piso told the National.

 

The US embassy in the Papua New Guinea capital Port Moresby issued a statement strongly condemning the “brutal murder” of Leniata, who had an eight-month –old daughter, as evidence of “pervasive gender-based violence”.

 

“We add our voice to those of Papua New Guinea religious and civil society leaders who have spoken out against the brutality inflicted upon Ms. Leniata,” the embassy said.

 

“There is no possible justification for this sort of violence. We hope that appropriate resources are devoted to identifying, prosecuting and punishing those responsible for Ms Leniata’s murder.”

 

Police arrested dozens of people last year linked to an alleged cannibal cult accused of killing at least seven people, eating their brains raw and making soup from their penises.

 

There have been several other causes of witchcraft and cannibalism in PNG in recent years with a man reportedly found eating his screaming, newborn son during a sorcery initiation ceremony in 2011.

 

In 2009, a young women was stripped naked, gagged and burnt alive at stake, also in Mount Hagen, in what was said to be a sorcery-related crime.

 

Case Study 2: The National Newspaper

 

Sorcery killings widespread

 

The burning alive of the young mother for alleged sorcery in Mt Hagen is not an isolated incident in the country. Nor is it the first.

 

There have been similar incidents in other areas of the country which have remained unreported. Tolsep Ifitimnok, a man from Telefomin in West Sepik, told the National that the Mt Hagen incident prompted him to reveal similar killings in the district that were never attended to by the authorities.

 

He said in 2009, three men living in Tabubil suspected of practicing sorcery or witchcraft were flown in an aircraft from Tabubil to Feramin village, west of Telefomin where they were tortured and murdered. “Police in Tabubil and Telefomin were aware of this but nothing was done to arrest the suspects.”

 

Two years later, he said, a woman was assaulted by a group of men from Telefolip village. She was dragged out of a plane at the Telefomin airstrip and killed. The Telefomin men had suspected her of practicing sorcery. “This happened in front of policemen stationed in Telefomin but nothing happened,” he said.

 

Before the end of 2011, Iftitimnok said, five men suspected of sorcery were tortured and killed outside the Telefomin government station. “Among those murdered was a student selected to do Grade 11 at Vanimo’s Don Bosco Secondary school the following year. Once again this happened in front of policemen but nothing was done about it,” he said.

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Case Study 3: The National Newspaper

Polye: Citizens perform poorly due to culture.

By David Wapar

Papua New Guinea is caught in a clash of culture of cultures which is causing them to underperform, Minister for Treasury Don Polye said this week. Speaking at the launching of Internal Revenue Commission’s (IRC) corporate plan in Port Moresby, Polye said PNG had evolved from a self-sustained to a near-sophisticated society, where most urban dwellers and public servants were yet to fully define their environment and what was required of them.

 

“We are not lazy. It’s just that we have not identify where we are and what must be done. “We are caught in an ever-changing world, a race between slow pacers and the fast.” Polye said. He challenged public servants to rise up and identify what was truly required of them so that they perform accordingly.

 

“The whole country needs to change its concept of thinking, he said, while pledging his support for IRC’s modernization plans. From a government perspective, human intelligent development was important, he said. Polye urged those who gathered to be true nationalists and work for the country and not to be bothered by short term material rewards. “Don’t sit and complain but rise up and do things on your own.”

 

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