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Papua, Indonesia

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These pages written by Michael Cookson for www.papuaweb.org.
(Last update - 4 August, 2009)

(Trouble with broken links or HTTP 404 Error: Page not found?)

An annotated guide to 16 Papua related websites or webpages with the general themes of:

RELIGION AND RELIGIOUS GROUPS IN PAPUA

Religious organisations in Papua are almost entirely represented by their national counterparts or by their international affiliations and sponsors. The largest Protestant demonination in Papua, the Evangelical Christian Church in the Land of Papua (Gereja Kristen Injil di Tanah Papua, or GKITP) has been an independent congregation with its own Synod since 1956 (see van de Wal 2006), but does not yet have its own website (see a report from 2006 on GKI Tanah Papua by Rev. John Barr at http://www.uim.uca.org.au/uim/partner_churches/partnership_reports/report_gki_papua). It should not be confused with the Christian Church of Indonesia based in Java (see http://www.gki.or.id).*

The Catholic Church in Indonesia (http://www.gerejakatolik.net) has a very different structure with five dioceses across the provinces of Papua and West Papua (see the map above, adapted from van Leeuwen 1994:28). All of the Diocese in these provinces are under the Arch-Diocese of Merauke (see http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/dmera.html) and unified through a national conference of Bishops (see http://www.kawali.org/viewPage.php?aid=4). The Catholic church in Papua plays a key role in promoting human rights and peace through its Offices of Justice and Peace (Sekretariat Keadilan dan Perdamaian, SKP). The SKP office of the Diocese of Jayapura maintains the excellent HAMPapua clearing house (see http://www.hampapua.org).

Kingmi, the third largest Church in Papua, was established by the Christian and Mission Alliance (CAMA, see http://www.cmalliance.org/im/imworld/field.jsp?m=300140). Reflecting popular discontent by its Papuan congregation with its subordination to its national counterpart (the Evangelical Tabernacle Church of Indonesia), many Kingmi church officials in Papua engaged in an acrimonious dispute with Jakarta a few years ago. This resulted in Kingmi becoming an independent Papua-based church (with no web presence). Significant smaller Christian denominations in Papua, such as the Baptist Church (see http://suarabaptis.blogspot.com), have strong support in Australia (see http://www.globalinteraction.org.au/content/documents/vis1106.pdf) while the raft of other evangelical and pentacostal churches across Papua have a nominal web-presence (e.g. http://www.geocities.com/akeharvest).

Some missionaries working in Papua maintain their own websites, such as Heidi and Rainer Scheunemann (see http://www.scheunemann-papua.de.tl/Home.htm) and the Williams family (http://williamsinpapua.org) while others are maintained by their sponsor church (read about the Johnson family at http://www.meadowview.org/papua.html). Various autobiographies and related accounts of missionary work in Papua have been written over the past century, (see a partial list of more recent English language publications at http://www.amazon.com/Missionaries-West-Papua-Irian-Jaya/lm/V5NLYCKVFBK6), including several best-sellers by Sabine Kuegler, the daughter of a German missionary who grew up among the Fayu of the remote Mamberamo region of Papua (see Papuaweb's new books list).

See the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) website for information on the first Papuan Muslim Congress in 2007 (http://www.nu.or.id/page.php?lang=en&menu=news_view&news_id=440).

(A list of international organisations associated with Papuan religious groups is not yet available.)

Notes:
* I am grateful to Pdt. Dr. At Ipenburg for this clarification.


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