The government is now moving to forge greater partnership and participation of Churches from the National to Community level to address Gender Based Violence and Sorcery Related Violence and Accusations.
Where government presence is absent, the Churches are ever present even in the most remote parts of the country ministering the gospel and to some extent delivering basic services.
The 2 day State Church Partnership Development Forum began today and will continue tomorrow with the main objectives of creating an inclusive PNG Church State Partnership Framework and collect the views of Churches on;
• The Role of Churches in Addressing Gender based Violence
• The Role of Churches in Addressing Sorcery Related Accusation and Violence
• The Inclusion of Religious Education into the Mainstream Curriculum
• And the Proposal to declare PNG as a Christian Country.
“At the conclusion of the forum the views of the Churches will be clear on how to strategically approach the issues” stated Minister for Community Development, Religion and Youth Soroi Eoe.
The Minister further highlighted that Churches are an ideal partner because of their extensive networking.
Speaking on behalf of the Prime Minister, Minister for Police Jelta Wong acknowledged that the unfavourable economic climate has impeded the progress of partnership with the churches.
Governance, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Database for the Churches are also the pressing challenges and therefore this forum is an opportune time for the churches to collectively give their views on how to strategically address the issues.
The theme of the forum is ‘Promoting Inclusive PNG State Church Partnership’ and it was attended by Government and Church representatives.