PM: Christian principles must be upheld

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 10th January 2012

CHRISTIAN principles must be upheld and implemented by every individual to realise the blessings and power of God, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says.
He made the comment at the opening of the 28th bi-annual Evangelical Lutheran church synod in Goroka, Eastern Highlands, on Sunday.
He challenged more than 100,000 PNG Lutherans that all citizens must put God first and not take sides in the ongoing political stalemate.
O’Neill said his government was focused on delivering services and addressing outstanding issues affecting the bulk of the rural population.
He said his government was determined to see that basic services reached the people through the cooperation of the government and churches.
O’Neill said his government would create a church ministry to cater for all church activities.
He was accompanied by National Planning and Monitoring Minister Sam Basil, Education Minister Theo Zurenuoc, Environment and Conservation Minister Thompson Harokaqveh, Morobe Governor Luther Wenge, Eastern Highlands Governor Malcolm Kela-Smith, Public Service Minister Bart Philemon and chief secretary Manasupe Zurenuoc.
O’Neill, the first Lutheran Prime Minister, said he was happy to officiate in the opening of the 28th synod and thanked the Evangelical Lutheran church, Gutnius Lutheran church and other denominations for providing spiritual guidance and social services to the people.
He said the new church ministry would help in addressing outstanding issues the country had faced since independence.
He challenged pastors, priest, bishops and other church leaders to actively play their roles and work alongside their respective provincial, district and local governments and elected leaders.
O’Neill was impressed with the attendance and thanked the synod planning committee for their time and effort.
He acknowledged individuals and stakeholders for their contributions in cash or kind in the successful staging of the synod.
Church head bishop Gigere Wenge thanked O’Neill and the government for its intention to create a new church ministry.
He said the idea about the ministry was long overdue as it would unify all denominations into one umbrella to spread the word of God.