Wenge pushing for law to fund churches

Lae News, Normal

MOROBE Governor Luther Wenge yesterday called on Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare to introduce legislation requiring 10% of the revenue from the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project be given to churches in Papua New Guinea.
Mr Wenge also wants legislation introduced to require employers to deduct a portion of their employees’ salaries and wages for church work.
He said the funds raised would help the churches to carry out their development programmes to help the ordinary people.
Mr Wenge made the call when welcoming Sir Michael at the official opening of the 27th synod of the Evangelical Lutheran church in Lae.
Thousands of Lutherans from Morobe and other provinces as well as representatives from other churches attended the opening at the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium.
Mr Wenge also called on Sir Michael to allocate funds directly to the churches starting next year.
He told the Prime Minister that the oil and gas reserves in PNG belonged to God and it was proper that 10% of the revenue was given to the churches to enable them to carry out God’s work.
Mr Wenge began his address by telling Sir Michael that some Foreign Affairs officers were preventing the Lutheran church from bringing in overseas doctors to work in the church-run hospitals.
He said the reason given was that some of the doctors did not speak English and, therefore, could not be allowed to work in PNG.
But Mr Wenge challenged that, saying the doctors were qualified and the church was in dire need of their services.
“I  pray to you, and not to God, to allow these doctors to come to PNG because the church needs them,” Mr Wenge told Sir Michael while also
thanking him for his support to the Lutheran church and all other churches over the years.
The governor also welcomed the 1,000-plus delegates to the synod and urged the people of Lae city and Morobe province to look after them.
Mr Wenge thanked members of the Lutheran church in Lae for cleaning up the city and preparing it for the event.