By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
TWO churches were razed at Kilenge village in the Kandrian-Gloucester district of West New Britain during a fight between youths from the Catholic Church and other churches, deputy governor Joseph Naipu says.
“Catholic youths fought with youths from other churches and burnt down the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) and the Revival Centres churches last Tuesday night,” Naipu, who is Gloucester local level government president, said.“I don’t know what caused the fight but the fight involved youths from Kilenge, Potnie and Ongaeo villages and the churches got burnt down in Kilenge.
“This is a chronic problem in the district where churches are always destroyed whenever a fight breaks out.
“It is an ongoing situation that people just accept – incidents of churches being damaged – they don’t report such allegations of arson to the police.
“Usually it’s the relatives taking sides in such fighting causing damages to the churches and so after all the fighting and destruction, they make peace and continue with their normal lives.
“The former conflicting party also gets involved in rebuilding the destroyed church and the situation is back to normal as if nothing has happened.
“But then, when a fight breaks out, churches are once again targeted and destroyed.”
Naipu said the district was dominated by the Catholic and the Anglican churches and people disliked the establishment of other churches there.
“So other churches like Pentecostal are reluctant to enter the district because the people are very hostile against other Christian churches.
“We, the community leaders, have tried all our best in vain to make awareness to make the people accept new churches in the district.
“But we were always unsuccessful. We wanted new churches to come in to help.
“Anglican and Catholic churches bring spiritual development so that it helps address the law and order situation in the district.”
Meanwhile, West New Britain police commander Chief Insp Janarius Vosivai said although he didn’t get an official report, he learnt about this incident from Facebook.
“My policemen are based at the Gloucester Police Station and it is very remote with no network coverage. That’s why I didn’t get a report. Also the community leaders usually don’t report such matters to us and so we don’t investigate such arson incidents,” he said.
K26mil grant for 15 wharves
The Australian government yesterday announced a grant of K26 million (A$10 million) to upgrade security features in 15 ports around the country. The project was launched at Motukea outside Port Moresby by the chairman of PNG Ports Corporation Limited Kepas Wali (from left), State Enterprises Minister William Duma, Australia’s Minister for International Development and Pacific, Senator Zed Seselja and Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp.
– Nationalpic by KENNEDY BANI