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Indonesian churches urge Jakarta to stop violence in Papua

While Papua has been integrated into the Republic of Indonesia for nearly six decades, the Christian majority region has long suffered from discrimination and a struggle over land and natural resources. 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.


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 last Thursday. One of the findings was that discrimination against Papuans is still prevalent in various places in 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 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, 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,” says a statement by the church leadership who attended the seminar.


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