LUTHERAN church pastors and evangelists serving Ukata (Ulap, Kabwum, Tapen) in Morobe face challenges as a result of cult activities and its social impacts during outreach programmes.
Most of these challenges are experienced in remote communities whose members have difficulty accessing social services.
The challenges, however, inspires pastors and evangelists to think creatively and design intervention programmes to walk the trials to restore Christian faith among the people.
Ukata district president Reverend Bayuso Basingnuc told The National at Derim station in Deyamos local level government that cult activities had weakened the people’s faith and beliefs which had a negative impact on families.
He said the consequences of cult beliefs led to sorcery practices, retaliation and killings leaving families of the deceased homeless and communities in fear.
Apart from cult beliefs and practices, polygamy caused tension and instability in small communities.
“Men having more than one wife only leads to family violence among the wives and that results in unnecessary deaths and injuries and law and order issues,”Basingnuc said.
“The women are arrested and taken away and their families, their children especially, suffer.”
He said this challenge ensured pastors developed spiritual intervention programmes to enhance the evangelists in their work in Ukata.
“Most of these challenges are occurring in communities inaccessible by roads, and absence of health and education services,” he said.
Basingnuc said the Ukata area had 18 pastors and 130 evangelists who struggled to do their job because of a lack of funding for travel, supplies and materials. Ukata has 10 circuits including Nankina, Teptep, Tapen (Yus), Ulap, Sio, Wewebo (Wasu), Kabwum, Komba, Timbe and Yalumet.
Basingnuc served Ukata in last 12 years as the district president.
Ukata is one of the 17 Lutheran districts in country.