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Bishops’ conference condemns proposed ban on non-Christian religions in Papua New Guinea

Catholic World News - July 17, 2013

The spokesman for Papua New Guinea’s bishops has condemned a proposal, introduced in parliament by the governor of one of the nation’s 22 provinces, to ban non-Christian religions.

“It is not by banning other faiths that we become more Christian,” Father Giorgio Licini said in a statement posted on the bishops’ website. “Christianity may well define some sort of cultural identity for modern Papua New Guinea and its 850 tribes; but never forget that true faith is something much beyond constitutional provisions, legal books, and even daily practices. And nobody can be prevented from professing his or her own beliefs both in a private and a public manner.”

“In the end I want to see if the people of PNG, the churches and everyone agree that all forms of other religions which are not Christian must be banned from Papua New Guinea,” said Governor Anderson Agiru. “We are a very rich country and yet we still have beggars and hungry people on the street. People are dying everywhere. I think it is time we bring this country under God.”

Located north of Australian, the nation of 6.3 million is approximately 69% Protestant and 31% Catholic.

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