24 Dec 2016

PNG Govt recognises churches contribute to development

11:23 am on 24 December 2016

A new Office of Religion has been established under Papua New Guinea's Department of Community Development, Youth and Religion.

Community Development Minister Delilah Gore said the Office of Religion was established as the Government recognised that churches contribute a lot to the country's development.

PNG Minister Delilah Gore.

PNG Minister Delilah Gore. Photo: PNG TREASURY

"People respect churches more than the government and church programmes are more sustained," she said.

Loop PNG reports in 2012, the department was directed through the Alotau Accord to establish the Office.

The department did four regional consultations in 2013 to gather views of the churches and interested stakeholders on the Government's decision to establish the Office. The consultations also captured what role it should play.

"Churches are the closest to our family units and communities," said the Minister.

"We must work closely with churches to address social issues, including gender-based violence, HIV and AIDS, law and order issues and other health issues faced in the communities."

She said there are seven positions filed, which will be released later in the media, with Warren Marape as the Assistant Secretary Religion.

Mr Marape has studied theology and written his thesis on the role of churches in development.