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Jakarta Post

To Papuans: ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news’

  • Kornelius Purba

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Wed, December 16, 2020   /  10:29 pm
To Papuans: ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news’ Members of the Papuan Students Alliance (AMP) take a ride in a bus in Jakarta on Dec. 1 prior to staging a rally in conjunction with the commemoration of the declaration of the West Papua State on Dec. 1, 1965. Rallygoers reject the government’s policy to give special autonomy to Indonesia’s easternmost provinces and demand that the people of West Papua are granted self-determination instead. JP/Seto Wardhana (JP/Seto Wardhana)

After reading the 10-point “Moral Call for Justice and Truth” from 147 Catholic priests of five dioceses in Papua and West Papua, including a sharp rebuke against the Bishops Council of Indonesia (KWI) for its “reluctance” to speak out in defense of indigenous Papuans, the infamous remark of the Jewish high priest during Jesus’ crucifixion suddenly came to mind. It is very rare in the Catholic tradition that priests openly criticize their leaders. Just to be clear, the few lines from the Bible I quote in this column have nothing to do with promoting Christianity, and are merely intended to elevate the spirits of our fellow sisters and brothers in the troubled provinces of Papua and West Papua ahead of Christmas. Specifically, the priests of the five Papuan dioceses criticized Ignatius Cardinal Suharyo, the KWI chairman and Archbishop of Jakarta, for do...