Papua New Guinea: Religion, Tradition and the Ensuing Violence

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A small nation with widespread brutality and domestic violence, Papua New Guinea, located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, struggles with multiple developmental challenges. It is one of the poorest countries on the planet per capita, as well as one of the most culturally diverse with over 800 languages are spoken there (Campano). According to ReCom, a research and communication on foreign aid organization, it is ranked at 148 on the Human Development Index and most human well-being indicators show that the conditions there are similar to those in Sub-Saharan Africa (Stewart). The country is in desperate need of social services for the many abused and battered woman and the vengeful violent acts that take place for accused witchcraft…show more content…
In addition, most societies have stories which describe how superhuman beings created the natural world and society, inventing food and plants, pigs and pig exchanges, male and female cults, sorcery, and other aspects of culture ("Culture of Papua New Guinea"). It is also commonly accepted that with age and maturity most people will develop supernatural powers and abilities. As Christianity has spread throughout the country, most Papua New Guineans fail to see a contradiction between traditional views and practices and Christian beliefs, continuing to practice both side by side. Christian missionaries arrived in the country of Papua New Guinea in the late 19th century. The first mission in eastern New Guinea was the London Missionary society in 1871, which set up mission teachers from the Loyalty Islands on islands adjacent to and on the Papuan mainland ("Culture of Papua New Guinea"). While there was some resistance to the early missionaries, many welcomed the missionaries and an opportunity to earn money, power and to achieve better gender-based relations. Currently, the churches in Papua New Guinea have an extensive network covering the entire country. The focus of these church networks and religious organizations began with basic health and education services in an attempt to engage the community. The government of Papua New Guinea (GoPNG) has formal control of these

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