By OSEAH PHILEMON
PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare yesterday called on parents to teach their children the values of Christian living.
Sir Michael said the family home was where children should be taught the values of Christian upbringing.
He told Lutherans that “many of our traditional values are being challenged today by modern technology and lifestyles” and it was important for people to realise how they could embrace the new changes in their lives.
Sir Michael was moved by the participation of young people in the official opening of the 27th Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran church of PNG in Lae yesterday.
He sat through the programme and told church leaders, who were present, that he was impressed with the performances of the children.
More than 500 tambourine girls stormed the official arena in rainbow colours and dancing as part of the official programme.
Joined by boys, the youth of the various Lutheran parishes in Lae gave the synod opening a spectacular colourful touch.
Sir Michael told the Lutherans: “Half of our population today is below 30 years of age, and if we are to survive into the future with same values and principles it is important that we engage our youths.
“The Lutheran church has shown that it not only engages with the younger generation, it can and has always supported government service delivery and community development,” he added.
Sir Michael praised the church for developing its own policy on how to deal with the HIV/AIDS epidemic
“I am pleased that the Evangelical Lutheran church of PNG will take a stand on issues of importance affecting the lives of our relatives, immediate families and friends.
“We are all Christians and must take Christ-like actions in embracing those living with HIV/AIDS. As the campaign slogan goes; a friend living with AIDS is still a friend. In the same way that I say, a brother living with AIDS is still a brother.
“This value exists in our Melanesian tradition of caring and treating another person as a loved one and member of our family,” Sir Michael said.
The Prime Minister said with the prevalence of the HIV virus in PNG, it was important for the community to seriously come to terms with its effects on the community and how meaningful prevention, care and awareness can be carried out.
“I, therefore, encourage a more solid partnership between the churches and the National AIDS Council to combat the virus as well as administer care,” he said.
Sir Michael also praised all Christian churches for providing health, education and other community development programmes for the people of PNG.