For and Against of Divisions, Papuan Religious Leaders: Everything for the sake of Welfare of the People – For and against of the divisions of the New Autonomous Region (DOB) of Papua Province are considered to be usual. Papuan figures Pdt. Petrus Bonyadone reminded that it should be treated positively that this is one of God’s plans for the Land of Papua.

“What emerged today regarding the for and against of New Autonomous Regions, for us from the church, is that one thing is sure, if that is what God wants, it will be. God desires that there is an even distribution of welfare in Papua, and through this division, God wants the people of Papua to be prosperous,” said Pdt. Petrus, who is the Chair of the GKII Region I Papua Synod during an interview with the media, Sunday (17/4/2022).

He also argues that if the division of Papua Province is truly realized, it will shorten the vulnerability of control with areas which incidentally are isolated and far from the reach of development due to geography.

“It should be realized, if this is true, then the vulnerable control that has been far away can become close, because Papua’s geography is like this. If the division occurs then isolated areas can open up, and I see there will be concentration from each province later to develop their own traditional territories,” he said.

He explained that the issue of the division of Papua had existed since ancient times, with in-depth studies until the traditional territory approach was applied.

“It’s not new now, so it’s been a long time, and the predecessors have thought about the expansion, and carried out with an in-depth study. The cultural approach of each customary area has been determined by the predecessor, there are 7 traditional areas in Papua and West Papua,” he explained.

Meanwhile, to respond the issue of the expansion of new autonomous regions, it is necessary for all parties to think positively, because the core of the expansion is the welfare of the community.

“And just be honest, my friends in the legislature and executive want the expansion, because they see it from the positive side. Because they do see that there are areas that are isolated, education and health are still far from standard, so if the division takes place, there will be an approach, specifically to touch those areas,” he said.

“We are currently running with time, so if we don’t use it well, when will the time and opportunity that God give us. Briefly, if not now, when it will be. I see it like that, as a church leader, God loves all his people. We always pray, and if God wills, nothing is impossible for God,” he continued.

In the end, as a church leader, he also advised all people to maintain peace in the Land of Papua. The attitude of high tolerance in Papua must be maintained. He gave an example of tolerance in Papua in terms of taking care of each other’s celebrations of religious holidays. Muslims look after Christians worshiping Easter or Christmas, and vice versa Christians guard Muslim doing worship.

“These are important days for God, and God does not discriminate against the peace of his people, and the important message is that Christians wherever they are must prioritize peace as commanded by God. So we must maintain an attitude of tolerance with friends, companions and people others. We must also respect and take care of Muslims who carry out fasting,” he said.

“My message is let’s keep Papua as a land of peace, which we can realize by respecting and appreciating our fellow God’s people. We at FKUB Papua also always echo this message of tolerance,” he concluded.

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