Belief in sorcery rooted in tradition, church leader says

National

PAPUA New Guineans’ belief in sorcery is still deeply rooted in tradition, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (PNG) head bishop Rev Dr Jack Urame says
“Sorcery-related violence is increasing in the country and many innocent people are accused and killed due to accusations of practicing sorcery,” he added.
He said: “Life-style disease and social stress are two factors why sorcery-related violence is increasing. Many people die of life-style diseases, like heart attack, diabetes, poor hygiene and poor health conditions.
“Many die young due to lifestyle disease so when an unexpected death occurs, innocent people are blamed and accused as sorcerers for being responsible for the death.
“Sorcery belief is a global dilemma which will take a long time to overcome.”
Urame said social stress also contributed to the increase in sorcery-related violence with many unemployed youths involved in drugs, alcohol, marijuana and homebrew.
“Therefore, they become aggressive and react violently in times of crisis, like death in the community.
“Both the church and Government must work towards developing a positive mindset to shift the view of our people if we want to eradicate sorcery-related violence in our communities.
“The most important approach is to change the mindset and shift the global sorcery view of our people. Unless this is done, sorcery belief will not change and sorcery-related violence will not be overcome.”

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