A Lutheran missionary in Papua New Guinea's Highlands says government leaders need to make a stand against sorcery related violence.
Anton Lutz said a perfect storm of traditional spiritual beliefs mixed with local interpretations of Christianity have resulted in a marked increase in violence in which the victims are accused of sorcery.
Mr Lutz was involved in discussions about the implementation of the Sorcery National Action Plan to deal with the violence.
He said research programmes, health and education underpin the plan as well as the rescue and rehabilitation of victims, but it would need greater political support.
"We need leaders in this country to stand up and say 'this is not the way that Papua New Guineans behave and what you people are doing is unacceptable' and I think that message needs to be coming all the way from the top and getting all the way to the bottom."
"The whole country needs to know that the government of this country does not accept this, and that has to be clear to everyone," he said.