Indonesian Churches Urge Jakarta to Stop Violence in Papua
12/20/2020 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – While Papua has been integrated into the Republic of Indonesia for nearly six decades, the restive yet resource-rich Christian majority region has long suffered from discrimination and a struggle over land and natural resource.
In recent months, tensions haven run high between Indonesia’s security forces and local Papuans, resulting in casualties that include the killing of a Christian pastor and a Catechist, which caused many to condemn the extrajudicial killings.
The ongoing violence pushed the Association of Churches in Indonesia (PGI) and the United Evangelical Mission entitled Stop Violence in Papua to hold a seminar on Thursday, December 17, 2020.
One of the findings was that discrimination against Papuans is still prevalent in various places in Indonesia. This has created a sense of injustice for Papua, so that they often express their resentment being part of Indonesia.
Given that Jakarta’s security approach in dealing with the Papuan unrest is still a priority and therefore the escalation of violence has continued to increase, even church workers, especially those serving in conflict areas, are targeted.
The murder of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani, allegedly carried out by security forces two months ago, has caused fear for Papuans. Until now, the government has not taken comprehensive steps to prevent the extrajudicial killing in Papua.
As a result, according to Tagar.id, the group urges the Indonesian government together with the Indonesian Parliament to immediately stop the security approach that is being carried out which has resulted in casualties and caused deep fear and trauma for Papuans.
“To avoid further casualties, we ask that the withdrawal of non-organic troops in Papua be carried out and temporarily stop military operations in Papua,” read a statement by the church leadership who attended the seminar.
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