Former church official denies mafia claims

Lae News, Normal

The Nationl, Monday 10th September, 2012

FORMER Evangelical Lutheran church of Papua New Guinea secretary-general Isaac Theo has rejected a claim that a “Siassi mafia” is ruling the church
The claim was made by Steven Mol which led to Theo demanding Mol explain his motives for his description of the Siassi people, who have a long association with the church, and apologise for generalising.
“Mol was wrong to brand the Siassi people working in the ranks of the ELCPNG as Siassi mafia, and should instead name the individual Siassis who he has difference with,” he said.
He said the islanders had contributed more to the church and were still involved prominently in it, especially with the merger of the then different sections of the church which led to the formation of the ELCPNG.
“Siassi is a church and not a district, it is different from other church districts, as it contributed most of the initial assets to the church, and Steven Mol is an insult to the people and church of Siassi,” Theo said.
He also apologised to fellow Lutheran Dr Eric Kua who was attacked by Mol.
“Kua played a big part in the church, especially in the Papuan district, by giving his time, money and resources freely to the church and I apologise to him and others who were criticised,” he said.
Theo questioned why the church hierarchy, through the offices of the bishop and assistant bishop, did not speak out against Mol’s outburst.
“I am disappointed at that and the people of Siassi demand an apology from the church hierarchy,” he said.
He said his efforts as the church secretary were for the good of the second largest church in the country.