Talk about sorcery

Faith, Normal

The National, Thursday January 30th, 2014

 SORCERY must be talked about in schools as part of efforts to eradicate the age-old practice, a study has recommended.

The study on sorcery in PNG was conducted by a research team from the Melanesian Institute between 2003 and 2007.

It studied the seven language groups – Simbu, Arapesh, Kote, Mekeo, Roro, Iduna and Tolai – and newspaper articles from 2000 to 2006.

Fr Franco Zocca from the institute said during a presentation last Friday titled “The church and media – a joint reflection on sorcery” in Port Moresby that sorcery must be openly discussed in all schools.

“We need to talk about the problem in schools and theological colleges. They need to talk about these things,” he said. 

“The belief can only be eradicated when people accept natural causes for sicknesses, deaths and disasters. They don’t look beyond that.

“And that can only come about if people are educated.

“The thought that one can get malaria if bitten by a mosquito without looking beyond that to find out why one was chosen to suffer from malaria.”

He said when people were afraid, the church must tell them that the power of God was stronger than any power on earth.

“So they must believe in God,” he said.

“Fear is causing a lot of psychological damage.”

He said from interviews conducted by the research team, it was clear that the majority of Christian leaders in the country still held firmly to the conviction that sicknesses, deaths and disasters were normally caused by sorcery practices.

Zocca said prosecutions of alleged sorcerers in some Western countries only ceased after the scientific and medical discoveries of the natural causes of sicknesses and deaths.