By Staycey Yalo, EMTV News, Port Moresby
A dialogue to strengthen Church-State partnership is underway in Port Moresby under the Ministry for Community Development and Religion.
The two day forum will look at promoting inclusive Papua New Guinea Church State partnership through existing church-community network in addressing Gender Based Violence, Sorcery Related Violence & Accusations and other social issues.
According to the Minister for Community Development and Religion, government for a number of years have failed to meet its end of the bargain in delivering vital services to the communities but churches continue to reach to the people despite lack of support from the government.
The forum today (June 13) with different church representatives and development partners was organized to strategise and address GBV, Sorcery Related Violence & Accusations and to re-establish religion in education systems and to establish an inclusive PNG Church-State partnership program.
Church representative’s views would be collected from this forum to identify what services different churches provide to the communities to address social issues affecting the country. Further, to identify what steps the government can take using the churches existing network to assist the communities.
Speaking on behalf of the Prime Minister, Police Minister Jelta Wong says, churches systems in service delivery has been proven to be proficient.
With these talks underway, the Department for Community Development & Religion has taken steps to provincial offices to facilitate PNG Church-State partnership program.
This year (2018), the government has provided 10 million kina to support churches in its work.
However, this funding has been given to the 7 main line churches only. Hence, under the new Church- State partnership program, other churches providing vital services to the communities will also be captured.