Church leaders in Port Moresby attended a meeting in June of 2018 – Papua New Guinea church state partnership development forum at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
The two-day forum has brought together church leaders to find meaningful ways and proactive approaches to work together to improve and protect the lives of the people affected.
The theme for the forum is ‘Promoting inclusive Papua New Guinea State Partnership’.
According to Secretary for the Department of Community Development and Religion Anna Solomon, the objectives of the forum is to identify the roles of churches in addressing gender-based violence, identify the strategies to address sorcery-related violence and accusations and to get the views of churches on the proposal to declare PNG as a Christian country, the inclusion of religious education into the mainstream curriculum, the establishment of a provincial church state partnership program and the inclusive PNG church state partnership program.
To set the background and perhaps the entire proceeding of the forum, deputy secretary for DFCDR implementation division Jeane Sliviak said the significant partnership between the government and churches emerged under the PNG church state partnership program.
“The PNGCSPP was developed in 2014 under the O’Neil/Dion government as a funding mechanism between the government and the Christian churches, especially the churches that have signed up to the partnership.
“The creation of the Office of Religion under the Department for Community Development and Religion are inherent in the development goals and aspiration of the country.
“Through the office, the partnership between the church and State would be consolidated and facilitated for effective development outcomes that befit the practices and specialties of the churches.
“This partnership aims to strengthen the churches focus on delivery of education, health, welfare and community development programs,” she said.
Ms Solomon said this is in support of the significant amount of activities already undertaken by the churches in delivering these services across PNG and the strong past performance of the churches efficiently with limited resources and achieving greater outputs.