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Home » » NATIVE WEST PAPUANS WERE FORCED TO CELEBRATE INDONESIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY ON SUNDAY MORNING, 17th OF AUGUST 2008

NATIVE WEST PAPUANS WERE FORCED TO CELEBRATE INDONESIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY ON SUNDAY MORNING, 17th OF AUGUST 2008

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on August 24, 2008 | 7:34 PM

By Rev YomanAug 16, 2008, 17:13
Jayapura, 16th August 2008. We received two reports from West Papua today. First report is from Enarotali – Paniai. At 2.00pm TNI/POLRI and government ordered/forced all the churches in Enarotali to do their prayer service at 06.00 and end the service at 08.00. This is not the normal prayer time in West Papua. The prayer service usually begins at 9.00am and continues until 11.30am. All the congregation are requested to attend the Indonesian independence day ceremony after the church service at 08.00.
Second report, the committee for Indonesian 63rd Independence Day celebration made an unusual announcement in all local media in West Papua. The committee has asked all churches to ring church bells for 3 minutes on Sunday, on the 17th of August 2008 at 10.30. The ringing of church bells on the Indonesian Independence Day was an act of oppression as the church does not have any tradition of ringing its bells on Indonesian Independence Day.
This is a strange phenomenon which never happened in the history of the church in West Papua. The Christians of West Papua are forced to get out of the church at 10.30 ( the time when they should be in the middle of the service). Indeed, Indonesian government and military and police do not respect the majority of the native West Papuans who are Christians to do their religious rituals as usual but forced them to obey government’s/military’s order.
Revd Socratez Sofyan Yoman
(President of the Fellowship of West Papuan Baptist Churches)
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