PNG is changing, says PM in Christmas message

Papua New Guinea is changing, it is getting better, and together we will make our country stronger.

This was what Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said in his Christmas message to the country.

“This is a time for families and friends, and to give thanks for all the good that we have in our lives.

“Christmas is also an important time when we can put aside our differences, and share in the goodwill of our communities.”

The PM says ours is a Christian nation, built on Christian values and governed through care and compassion for our fellow men, women and children.

“The Christian Churches in our country remain strong, and continue to play a vital role in the lives of our people," he says.

“I want to acknowledge the wonderful work of our Churches in communities right across Papua New Guinea.

“For many, the Churches have been the providers of education for children, delivered healthcare, and facilitated wide ranging community support services.

“When we formed Government, we knew that Churches were delivering this work on their own.”

O’Neill says he is proud of the fact they are providing direct funding support to Churches for education, healthcare and other areas.

“This funding support has enabled the expansion of services to meet greater community needs,” he states.

“We will continue to build this partnership in the future.”

O’Neill extends Christmas greetings to all Christian leaders, workers and communities right across Papua New Guinea.

“We have worked together, one nation under God, to build a stronger Papua New Guinea.

"This year has been historic for all Christian Churches in our Country.

"The elevation of the Archbishop of Port Moresby, John Ribat, by His Holiness, Pope Francis, to be a Cardinal of the Catholic Church is of great joy to us all.

"We send our greetings to Cardinal Ribat, during his first Christmas in his new and honoured role.

“Finally, we know that Christmas is a time when people will feel different emotions,” says the PM.

“As well as being a time of joy, there may be some celebrations.

“I ask everyone in our communities – do not drink too much, do not argue, do not drink and drive.

“Now is the time to feel the joy of the festive season, especially for our children and older members of our communities. Let us celebrate together in peace.

“We live in a great and truly blessed nation.

“From Lynda and myself and our family, our Nation’s Ministers and Members of Parliament, and Public Service, I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas.

“May God Bless you.”

Press release