PAPUA New Guinea this week joined 113 prison fellowship groups around the world in a week of prayer and transformation.
Prison Fellowship is the largest prison ministry organisation with more than 100,000 volunteers and 500 staff and about 10 million prisoners throughout the world.
A statement from Prison Fellowship PNG said there were about 4,000 prisoners in PNG and the church and local community had been urged to turn their thoughts to the men and women in prison to celebrate a worldwide week of prayer and transformation.
Acting chairman of Prison Fellowship PNG Sam Mulina said that prisoners would one day return to be part of the community and the support and encouragement they received from the community was crucial.
“These are people are routinely abandoned, forgotten and ignored by society yet the majority of them will eventually be released back into their communities,” he said.
According to recent statistics, 67% of released prisoners will likely commit new crimes and return to prison within three years.
Prison Fellowship PNG have joined with the local churches and the community members to highlight the opportunities to help all those affected by crime including prisoners, their families, ex-prisoners, corrections and criminal justice officials, prison chaplains and victims of crime.
Mr Mulina said: “We are pleased PNG will be a part of this worldwide effort” and extended his invitation to those interested to join in the weeks activities including prayer and action to follow.