AM against the move by the Government to declare Papua New Guinea a Christian Country.
I know some people are against it as well.
This move seems to be a practice of dictatorship.
We need to embrace the type of governance this country adapted since Independence.
We’re a democracy.
Democracy promotes citizens’ rights to freedom of choice in voting MPs, rights to education, and rights to choose to follow whatever religion that suits an individual’s belief.
Section 45 of our Constitution is one of the basis of democratic laws and it guides the citizens’ rights to religious beliefs and practices.
So long as the creed and practices of a particular religion are morally right, they can be allowed to practice their faith.
If we successfully declare PNG a Christian country, what would be its limits, restrictions or implications?
The non-Christians in the country should be advised on this.
As it is now, the move sounds dictatorial to non-Christian religions such as Baha’i, Islam and Judaism, which are already in PNG.
In the case of Islam, I am a follower of Islam (reverted Muslim).
It was established in PNG in 1982 as The Islamic Society of PNG Inc.
Currently, Islam in PNG has nearly 6,000 followers and is one of the fastest growing religion.
As the saying goes: “You can take a horse to the river, but cannot force it to drink the water”.
The Government cannot deprive our democratic right to choose whatever religion we want to follow.
It’s a conviction that comes from the heart and cannot be replaced with whatever external physical means. When we have to look at the Bible, some teachings are yet to be understood.
Different people have different interpretations when it comes to understanding certain messages in the Bible.
Different denominations have different practices. All in all, there are so many bible versions (roughly more than 40 versions today), which differs in so many verses.
Therefore, when we want to uphold certain agreed concepts or values and practices, it will be much more complicated to come to a better resolution. The Constitution itself is enough to provide a better community, promotes individuals prosperity and our interactions with other countries, if properly enforced.
It encounters every facet and dooms of morals and values that can prompt a better and peaceful living.
Just look at Australia, it is better off with a democratic system of governances.Religion and politics are two different controversial topics and should be dealt with separately.
Political leaders should make a distinctive decisions as political leaders and not religious leaders so as to minimise conflicts of interest and opinions and to represent people well.
Abdul Ahemed (Muslim brother)