Lutherans to celebrate reform day


Papua New Guinea is among many countries throughout the world that will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation on Oct 31.
This year 2017, marks 500 years of the Reformation when a Catholic monk, Martin Luther, broke away from the Roman Catholic Church to establish the Lutheran Church.
The Lutheran Church is the second biggest Christian church in PNG with over 1.2 million followers.
The anniversary will be celebrated by Lutherans throughout the world including in Papua New Guinea.
Activities will be focused on the theme Liberated by God’s Grace over three days of celebrations.
The Papua District 500 Years Anniversary Celebrations Committee has put a programme together with opening of celebrations on Friday, Oct 27, and closing on Sunday, Oct 29, at Sir John Guise Stadium.
The programme will be launched at the stadium on Sunday, Sept 3, says committee chairman Kingston Alu.
He said Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Evangelical Lutheran Church of PNG Head Bishop Rev Jack Urame had been invited to officiate at the programme launching.
“We hope that through our launching, we will be able to attract other church partners to come in and be part of this celebration,” Alu told The National.
“We invite all Christians to join us in this celebration as this is an important event in the history of Christianity.
“Let us all celebrate our liberation through God’s grace as free people  in this beautiful country that God has given us, Papua New Guinea.”
The Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea is 136 years old.
It was first established at Simbang in Finschhafen, Morobe, in 1886 by missionary Johann Flierl of the Neuendettelsau Mission Society of Germany. The church grew with many mission stations, churches, schools and hospitals established in Morobe, Madang and the Highlands before World War II.
During WWII, all missionaries left the area and many stations, churches, schools and hospitals were damaged.
Indigenous church leaders and local Christians stood firm in the work of the church during this time.