Christian Missionaries in West Papua:
Life Histories of the Papuans
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3. They arrogantly forbid many of our cultural beliefs
I am quite amazed to see the UN Declaration on Minorities that clearly
protects the rights of the tribal people to own, practice and belong to our
cultural heritage, such as our beliefs. I was questioning when I was reading
the articles, "Who is writing these?" I realised later that the terms used and
the contexts presented in the declaration are based on European values and
beliefs, or Eurocentric.
Then I questioned, "Who are the people in West Papua who tell us not to own
and practice our cultural beliefs?" The answer was, "The same Europeans!" In
fact the "don'ts" of the missionaries are also Eurocentric.
Then I wondered, "What on earth are they doing?" "What are they doing?"
"What should I do?"
Perhaps what they meant by their declaration on minorities was not
regarding the cultural beliefs of the Tribal people? If so, are we humans? Are
we minorities? Are we not also subjects to the declaration?
If so, then I need to state that:
- Missionaries are actually in essence terrorists. Why? They come to us and
say, "If you don't do as we say, you are going to hell! You will die! You
will be judged! You are not part of us! You are children of the Satan!"
etc.etc. Aren't these sentences terrorising?
- The missionaries are actually the people to be accountable for misconduct
against the Resolution on Minorities.
- How can the declaration be promoted without calling the missionaries
responsible for their sins of killing the cultures of minorities?
- Are the beliefs we have as tribal people not part of the resolutions? If
so, what are our cultural beliefs called?
- I think that missionaries should be responsible for what they have done
to us. They at first killed our culture, planted their culture and then left
us to die in their new cultural perspectives.
- They opened the doors for Indonesian military to come and kill us. It is
missionaries that built airstrips all over villages. It is them that first
came to our isolated villages. It is them that came wth Gospel in their right
hand and Guns in their left hand. After they opened the isolation, they
brought in government officials, opened army and police offices, and started
killing us. Can they deny their involvement in killing us? NO, ABSOLUTELY
NOT!!!! They are part of various human rights violations in West Papua, they
are the doors to various human rights violations in West Papua.
- Do you know what missionaries have done when the Indonesian army they
brought in were killing us? They left the villages. Lucky, they got airplanes
to fly them out from the bombardments into the villages. After some months,
after houses and churches were burned down, after many of their sheep
(flocks) were killed, they come with big smile and open hands to embrace and
to encourage poor Papuans to repent and thank God that they were not killed.
What do they preach? FORGIVE! FORGIVE! If they kill your brother, give your
husband as well, that is according to our culture that we brought in to you.
DON'T fight back, if you do so, you are going to hell.
- So, you can see how well the missionaries and Indonesian army work
together to kill Papuans both culturally and physically.
- And for me, they who kill my culture are the most terrorist people in the
world. Killing a culture means killing the root of a people. If Indonesians
kill hundreds of Papuans physically, I know there are one or two Papuans
alive and they will live as Papuans. But what can happen if one million
Papuans are without any knowledge of Papuan culture? Are they Papuans? Are
they Christians? Are they ......?
Anyway, missionary work is more dangerous to indigenous and tribal peoples
than any other work on earth that you know. Remember this!