Statement of Church Leaders in West Papua regarding last weeks incident in Tolikara.
JAYAPURA, SUARAPAPUA.com — Three church leaders in Papua, issued a joint press statement, related to the incidents in Tolikara, West Papua, which led to the shooting of children of school age, which led to the burning of several kiosks belonging to Papuans and non-Papuans.
The three leaders of the church, namely, Chairman of the Synod Evangelical Christian Church (GKI) in Papua, Pastor. Alberth Yoku, chairman of the tabernacle of the Evangelical Synod (Kingmi) Papua, Rev. Benny Giay, and Chairman of the waiter Fellowship Baptist Churches of Papua (BP-PGBP), Rev. Socratez Sofyan Yoman.
It is said, that Papua has always been a place where religious tolerance has prevailed.
The press statement the three leaders of the church;
Responding to an incident that occurred in Tolikara on July 17, 2015 where the shootings against civilians and the burning stalls, with this, we declare the following attitudes:
First, we deplore the statements in the mass media discrediting our people who are the people of Papua without digging deeper into the actual facts on the ground. Therefore, we ask all parties in Papua and outside Papua, to exercise restraint until the results of the investigation and monitoring of an independent team to find out what the main cause of this Tolikara events;
Secondly, in our opinion, Tolikara event needs to be seen as a whole, as this is the peak of an iceberg of efforts politicization of religion that has long been held in the Land of Papua; where certain parties exploit public office positions and to propagate a particular religion in Papua.
Third, Papua within the framework of point 2 above, seems to be the place where the State imposed religious tolerance prevails, while in some places outside Papua, state precisely as if favoring one particular religious group to oppress other religions. This fact was followed very well by the people of Papua through the means of communication available to form a perception of injustice in the religious policy in Indonesia.
Fourth , we, Church Leaders and Head of the Synod in Papua have addressed this issue and will conduct an investigation to clarify the principal case of Tolikara case, triggering arson and shooting that killed a teenager named Endi Wanimbo (15 years) and injuring 10 other residents;
Fifth , we urge that the TNI-Police did not use weapons and other violent means in dealing with the conflict in Papua, and not favoring one group in any disputes between residents that occurred in Papua;
Sixth, we give appreciation for the rapid response of the various parties, including the leadership of the country on this Tolikara incident. We expect the same attitude is also shown in the shooting of four students in Paniai December 2014 which has not been completed, Yakuhimo case and other cases of violence that occurred in Papua and throughout Indonesia;
Seventh, we pray for the families of the victims who died, were injured and those who lost property as a result of the violence in Tolikara so empowered by God Almighty. We provide services Pastoral, assistance and advocacy in order to recover and run a normal life back.
Such is our stand. God bless.
Pdt. Alberth Yoku,
Pdt. Benny Giay
Pdt. Socratez Sofyan Yoman