Friday, 8 February 2013
Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill pauses before making an address to the Lowy Institute in Sydney November 29, 2012.
Posted on 02/08/2013 10:28 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
9 Feb 2013
It should perhaps be set on the record, loud and clear, that in another report upon this event, we read that "David Piso, head bishop of Gut Nius [that is, Good News - CM] Lutheran Church, condemned the killing. 'Sorcery and sorcery-related killings are growing and the government needs to come up with a law to stop such practices", he said."
We don't know whether the accusers and even the victim were nominally members of a Christian group, or whether they adhered to traditional beliefs which can include both practices called sorcery (sometimes involving ritual murder, use of poisons, etc; I would guess that the Bishop by 'sorcery' means these sorts of things) and the torture and killing, by others, of suspected or accused sorcerors.
It should be noted that the accusation of 'sorcery', both in PNG and in Africa, is something that was part of pre-Christian society there; and that, since these societies were evangelised from the 19th century onward (in many cases, in PNG, and in parts of Africa, the embrace of Christianity by some tribes and villages happened in the current generation, or one generation before, and there is much catechetical work still to be done, in conjunction with continuing Bible translation), the leaders of the mainstream Christian churches - Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican and other protestant - do not go in for encouragement of witch-hunting and witch-burning. That is for the benefit of anyone who might be pleased to try to blame killings of this nature on those eeevil Christians.