Religion in Papua New Guinea

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Religion in Papua New Guinea is predominantly Christian with traditional animist and ancestor worship still found in some places. The courts and government in both theory and practice uphold a constitutional right to freedom of speech, thought, and belief. A large majority of Papua New Guineans identify themselves as members of a Christian church (96% in the 2000 census), however many combine their Christian faith with traditional indigenous beliefs and practices.[1]

The 2010 Report on International Religious Freedom by the United States Department of State states that religious participations in the country are relatively peaceful and no reports of conflict are being reported. Public schools host a religious subject once per week and representatives of Christian churches teach the lessons, and the students attend the class operated by the church of their parents' choice. Children whose parents do not wish them to attend the classes are excused. Members of non-Christian religious groups are not numerous, and they use family and group gatherings before and after school for religious lessons.[2]

Christianity[edit]

The 2000 census percentages were as follows:

In 2010, emerging Christian denominations include the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Members Church of God International.

The Papua New Guinea Council of Churches members are:

  • Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea
  • Gutnius Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod)
  • Union Baptist
  • Roman Catholic Church
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea
  • United Church in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands
  • Salvation Army

There are also a number of parachurch organizations:

Bahá'í Faith[edit]

The Bahá'í Faith in Papua New Guinea begins after 1916 with a mention by `Abdu'l-Bahá, then head of the religion, that Bahá'ís should take the religion there.[4] The first Bahá'ís move there (what Bahá'ís mean by "pioneering",) in Papua New Guinea arrived there in 1954.[5] With local converts the first Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assembly was elected in 1958.[6] The first National Spiritual Assembly was then elected in 1969.[7] The Association of Religion Data Archives (relying onWorld Christian Encyclopedia) estimated some 60000 or 0.9% of the nation were Bahá'ís in 2005[8] though the 2012 CIA Factbook estimated 1/3 of that, citing national census figures from 2000.[9] Either way, it is the largest minority religion in Papua New Guinea, if a small one. Among its more well known members are Margaret Elias and Sirus Naraqi.

Elias is the daughter of the first Papuan woman on the national assembly,[10] and the country's first woman lawyer (in the 1970s),[11] who attended the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women and was awarded in 1995 and 2002 for her many years in the public service, particularly as in the national government and went on to support various initiatives for education.[12]

Naraqi lived and worked in Papua New Guinea from 1977–79 and 1983–98, partially doing clinical medical work as well as teaching at the University of Papua New Guinea, where he was awarded in 1999 and had served as a member of the Continental Board of Counsellors in Australasia since 1985.[13]

Other religions[edit]

Islam in Papua New Guinea counts approximately 1,000 to 2,000 followers,[14] mostly of immigrant origin.

Traditional religions[edit]

Traditional religions are often animist and many have elements of ancestor worship.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Lawrence, Peter: Road Belong Cargo. A Study of the Cargo Movement in the Southern Madang District, New Guinea, Melbourne University Press: Melbourne 1964. ISBN 978-0881334586
  • Lawrence, Peter and Mervyn J. Meggitt (eds.): God, Ghosts and Men in Melanesia, Oxford University Press: Melbourne 1965. ISBN 978-0195501476
  • Worsley, Peter : The Trumpet Shall Sound: A Study of "Cargo" Cults in Melanesia, Schocken Books: New York 1968. ISBN 978-0586080290
  • Threlfall, Neville  : One Hundred Years in the Islands. The Methodist/United Church in the New Guinea Islands Region 1875-1975, The United Church (New Guinea Islands Region), Toksave na Buk dipatmen: Rabaul 1975, ISBN 0 86938 016 8
  • Laracy, Hugh : Marists and Melanesians. A History of Catholic Missions in the Salomon Islands, Australian National University Press: Canberra 1976, ISBN 0 7081 0404 5
  • Wetherell, David : Reluctant Mission: The Anglican Church in Papua New Guinea, University of Queensland Press, St. Lucia 1977. ISBN 978-0702214110
  • Strelan, John G.: Search for Salvation. Studies in the History and Theology of Cargo Movements, Lutheran Publishing House: Adelaide 1977. ISBN 978-0859100373
  • Ahrens, Theodor: Christian Syncretism: A Study from the Southern Madang District of P.N.G. Catalyst. 1974; 4(1): 3-40.
  • Ahrens, Theodor: Concepts of Power in a Melanesian and Biblical Perspective. Missiology. 1977; 5: 141-173.
  • Flannery, Wendy  : Symbol and Myth in Melanesian Cultures. In: Missiology 7 (1979) 435-449.
  • Sack, Peter, ed.: German New Guinea: A Bibliography, Canberra ACT: Australian National University Press, 1980, ISBN 9780909596477
  • Flannery,Wendy  : All Prophets: Revival Movements in the Catholic and Lutheran Churches in the Highlands. In: Catalyst 10 (1980) 229-257.
  • Flannery, Wendy (ed.): Religious Movements in Melanesia, vol I, II III, (Point 2,3,4), Melanesian Institute Goroka, 1983-1984.
  • Böhm, Karl : The life of some island people of New Guinea: a missionary's observations of the Volcanic Islands of Manam, Boesa, Biem, and Ubrub, Introduction by Nancy Lutkehaus, (Collectanea Instituti Anthropos Vol. 29), Dietrich Reimer Verlag: Berlin 1983, ISBN 3-496-00725-7
  • Mantovani, Ennio (ed.): An Introduction to Melanesian Religions, (Point, 6), The Melanesian Institute: Goroka 1984.
  • Narakobi, Bernard C. : The Melanesian Way, Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies: Port Moresby 1983.
  • Loeliger,Carl and Garry Trompf (eds.): New Religious Movements in Melanesia, University of Papua New Guinea Press: Port Moresby 1985.
  • Wesemann, Heiner : Papua Neuguinea. Nuigini. Steinzeit-Kulturen auf dem Weg ins 20. Jahrhundert. Dumont Buchverlag: Köln 1985.
  • Pech, Rufus : The Acts of the Apostles in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, in: An Introduction to Ministry in Melanesia, Edited by Brian Schwarz, (point Series No. 7), Melanesian Institute: Goroka 1985, 17-71. ISSN 0253-2913
  • Ahrens, Theodor : Unterwegs zur verlorenen Heimat. Studien zur Identitätsproblematik in Melanesien, Verlag der Ev.-Luth. Mission: Erlangen 1986. ISBN 978-3-87214-304-4
  • Ahrens, Theodor: Melanesische "Cargo"-Kulte'. In: Münzel, Mark, Editor: Neuguinea: Nutzung und Deutung der Umwelt. Frankfurt am Main: Museum für Völkerkunde; 1987: 143-160, 399- 400.
  • Wagner, Herwig - Hermann Reiner (eds.): The Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea. The First Hundred Years 1886-1986, second printing, Lutheran Publishing House: Adelaide (Australia) 1987, 677 pp., ISBN 0-85910-382-X
  • Trompf, Garry W. (ed.): The Gospel is Not Western: Black Theologies from the Southwest Pacific, Orbis Books: New York 1987, ISBN 978-0883442692
  • Renck, Guenther: Contextualization of Christianity and Christianization of Language. A Case Study from the Highlands of New Guinea, Verlag der Ev-Luth. Mission: Erlangen 1989. ISBN 978-3-87214-305-1
  • Wagner, Herwig - Gernot Fugmann - Hermann Janssen (eds.): Papua Neuguinea. Geschichte und Kirche. Ein ökumenisches Handbuch, Verl. der Ev.Luth. Mission: Erlangen, 1989, 464 pp. + 16 Bildseiten, ISBN 3-87214-193-7
  • Langmore, Diane: Missionary Lives: Papua, 1874-1914, (Pacific Islands Monograph Series, No. 6), University of Hawaii Press: Honolulu 1989. ISBN 0-8248-1163-1
  • Barker, John (ed.): Christianity in Oceania, Ethnographic Perspectives, Lanham University Press of America 1990. ISBN 978-0819179067
  • Trompf, Garry W.: Melanesian Religion, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge 1991, ISBN 978-0521383066
  • Waiko,John Dademo: A Short History of Papua New Guinea, Oxford University Press: Melbourne (Australia) 1993, 275 pp., ISBN 0-19-553164-7
  • Garrett, John: Footsteps in the Sea: Christianity in Oceania to World War II, Institute of Pacific Studies: Suva 1992.
  • Ahrens, Theodor: Der neue Mensch im kolonialen Zweilicht. Studien zum religiösen Wandel in Ozeanien. (Hamburger Theologische Studien 5). Lit Verlag: Muenster (Germany) 1993, ISBN 3-89473-994-0.
  • Ernst, Manfred: Winds of Change : Rapidly Growing Religious Groups in the Pacific Islands, Pacific Conference of Churches: Suva 1994. ISBN 978-9822000672
  • Aerts, Theo (ed.): The Martyrs of Papua New Guinea. 333 Missionary Lives Lost During World War II, University of Papua New Guinea Press, Port Moresby 1994, ISBN 9980840617 - ISBN 9789980840615 - ISBN 9980840536 - ISBN 9789980840530
  • Steffen, Paul: Missionsbeginn in Neuguinea. Die Anfänge der Rheinischen, Neuendettelsauer u. Steyler Missionsarbeit in Neuguinea. (Studia Instituti Missiologici S.V.D. - 61) Steyler Verlag, Nettetal 1995, ISBN 3-8050-0351-X.
  • Steffen, Paul B. : From Church to Mission. Assessment and Perspectives of the Catholic Church in Mainland New Guinea after Its First Hundred Years. In: Steyler Missionswissenschaftliche Institut (ed.), Divine Word Missionaries in Papua New Guinea, 1896-1996, Festschrift. Steyler Verl., Nettetal 1996, 231-258, ISBN 3-8050-0380-3. - ibidem in: Verbum SVD 37:1-2 (1996) 231-258
  • Alt, Josef: The Contribution of Arnold Janssen to the SVD Mission in New Guinea. In: Divine Word Missionaries in Papua New Guinea, 1896-1996. Festschrift. Steyler Verlag, Nettetal 1996, ISBN 3-8050-0380-3, S. 11–40. - also in: Verbum SVD. 37:1-2 (1996), S. 11–40.
  • Garrett, John  : Where Nets Were Cast: Christianity in Oceania Since World War II, Institute of Pacific Studies , University of the South Pacific in association with the World Council of Churches, Suva and Geneva 1997.
  • Whitehouse, Harvey : From Mission to Movement: The Impact of Christianity on Patterns of Political Association in Papua New Guinea, in: Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 4-1 (1998), p. 43-63.
  • Gewertz, D. and F. Errington: On PepsiCo and piety in Papua New Guinea modernity, in American Ethnologist 23, p. 476-493.
  • Aerts, Theo  : Traditional Religion in Melanesia, University Press of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby 1998. 189 pp. , ISBN 9980840684 - ISBN 9789980840684
  • Aerts, Theo : Christianity in Melanesia, University Press of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby 1998. 256 pp., ISBN 9980840692ISBN 9789980840691
  • Koch-Schmid,Christin (ed.): Expecting the Day of the Wrath: Versions of the Millennium in Papua New Guinea, National Research Institute: Port Moresby 1999.
  • Alt, Josef(ed.): Arnold Janssen SVD, Letters to New Guinea and Australia. (Studia Instituti Missiologici SVD 77) Steyler Verlag, Nettetal 2001, ISBN 3-8050-0467-2.
  • Gibbs, Phil  : Religion and Politics in Papua New Guinea (1997-2000), (Point 24), Melanesian Institute: Goroka 2001.
  • Robbins, Joel  : Becoming sinners. Christianity and moral torment in a Papua New Guinea society, University of California, Berkeley , Los Angeles 2004.
  • Bartle, Neville: Death, Witchcraft and the Spirit World in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Point No. 29, Melanesian Institute: Goroka, PNG 2005. ISBN 9980-65-003-6.
  • Ernst, Manfred: Globalization and the Re-Shaping of Christianity in the Pacific Islands, Pacific Theological College, Suva (Fiji) 2006.
  • Gibbs, Phil: Papua New Guinea, in M. Ernst (ed.), Globalization and the Re-Shaping of Christianity in the Pacific Islands, Suva 2006, p. 81-158.
  • MacDonald, Mary N. : Religions of Melanesia: A Bibliographic Survey - By Garry W. Trompf, in: Religious Studies Review 33:2 (2007) 167f.,
  • Sullivan, Nancy: God's Brideprice: Laisez faire Religion, and the Fear of Being Left Behind in Papua New Guinea, in: Contemporary PNG Studies: DWU Research Journal, 6 (2007), p. 63-91.
  • Breward, Ian : A History of the Churches in Australasia, (The Oxford History of Christian Churches), Oxford University Press, Oxford 2001, Reprinted 2008, 474 pp., ISBN 978-0-19-927592-2.
  • Mückler, Hermann: Mission in Ozeanien. Wien 2010: Facultas. 328 pp, ISBN 978-3-7089-0397-2
  • Mantovani, Ennio : Mission: Collision or Dialogical Encounter? A Chronicle of St. Paul's Parish, Yobai, Papua New Guinea, (Studia Instituti Missiologici Societas Verbi Divini Nr. 95), Steyler Verlag: Nettetal (Germany) 2011, ISBN 978-3-8050-0581-4
  • Steffen, Paul B. : LIMBROCK, Eberhard SVD (1859-1931), Missionspionier u. Missionsgründer. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon. (BBKL) 33 (2012), ISBN 978-3-88309-690-3, pp. 774–784.
  • Coleman, Simon : Christianities in Oceania: Historical Genealogies and Anthropological Insularities, in: Archives de sciences sociales des Religions 157 (janvier-mars 2012), p. 12-38. ISBN 978.2-7132-2328-0
  • Ernst, Manfred  : Changing Christianity in Oceania : A Regional Overview, in: Archives de sciences sociales des Religions 157 (janvier-mars 2012), p. 29-45. ISBN 1978.2-7132-2328-0
  • Barker, John  : Secondary Conversion and the Anthropology of Christianity in Melanesia, in: Archives de sciences sociales des Religions 157 (janvier-mars 2012), p. 67-87. ISBN 978-2-7132-2328-0

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "US Department of State International Religious Freedom Report 2003". Retrieved 2006-03-23. 
  2. ^ 2010 Report on International Religious Freedom - Refworld
  3. ^ "History Catholic Church in PNG". Retrieved 2006-03-23. 
  4. ^ `Abdu'l-Bahá (1991) [1916-17]. Tablets of the Divine Plan (Paperback ed.). Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. pp. 40–42. ISBN 0-87743-233-3. 
  5. ^ "A life in pursuit of noble endeavors". Bahá'í World News Service (Bahá’í International Community). 29 June 2004. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Celebrations held throughout the land". Bahá'í World News Service (Bahá’í International Community). 8 May 2004. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  7. ^ Hassall, Graham; Universal House of Justice. "National Spiritual Assemblies statistics 1923-1999". Assorted Resource Tools. Bahá'í Library Online. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  8. ^ "Most Baha'i Nations (2005)". QuickLists > Compare Nations > Religions >. The Association of Religion Data Archives. 2005. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  9. ^ "East & Southeast Asia - Papua New Guinea". CIA World Factbook. November 13, 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Baha'is in PNG". NSA of Baha'is of PNG. 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  11. ^ "From around the world, Bahá'í women converge on Beijing". One Country (Bahá'í International Community) 7 (2). September 1995. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Elder, Papua New Guinea, Global University for Lifelong Learning". Global University for Lifelong Learning. 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  13. ^ "A special place in the rose garden". Bahá'í World News Service (Bahá’í International Community). 18 August 2004. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  14. ^ "US Department of State International Religious Freedom Report 2006". Retrieved 2006-03-23. 

External links[edit]