By PNG Loop, June 2014
The nation’s top Lutherans are calling on Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to stop the Canadian company which is planning to mine for valuable minerals in PNG waters.
In a statement referring to Mr O’Neill being an active Lutheran, they say: “We, members of the Lutheran Church feel that we have been betrayed and sold out by the Prime Minister, Peter O’NeilI who is also one of us, an active member of the Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea when he went ahead and allowed for the country’s seabed to be turned upside down despite the Holy Bible’s teachings and our strong opposition.
“We believe the Lutheran population contributed to making Mr. Peter O’ Neill a Prime Minister, trusting that he will uphold the church’s doctrines and support the church’s stands to protect God’s creations, the sea in this case but sadly that doesn’t seem to be the case.
“We are all against this destructive mining that doesn’t have results to prove its safe, because it hasn’t been tried anywhere else in the world. Touching the sea and destroying the marine life is totally against the Lord’s teachings for us humans to be good stewards on Earth, to protect his creations.’’
The statement was issued under the name of Reverend Kinim Siloi, the Director for Inter Church Relation and Ecumenism
Evangelical Lutheran Church of PNG.
It was issued in support of the statement made by the Head Bishop of Evangelical Lutheran Church of PNG on deep sea mining after the General Synod in January this year.
Rev Siloi’s statement said that “more than 1.2 million members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea are not happy with the current Prime Minister Peter O’ Neill, for allowing the Canadian-owned company Nautilus to go ahead with its Experimental Seabed Mining in PNG’’.
They added: “Prime Minister O’Neill, we call on you to explain why you did what you did despite, after our strong opposition was made known in the 29l ELCPNG General Synod on Karkar Island in the Madang Province early this year.
“Regardless of whatever reasons, we the I 2 million plus Lutherans nationwide say No to Experimental Seabed Mining through the signatures of our 17 District Presidents nationwide and we will stand on this for as long as the word of God stands.’’
The Lutheran Church was also vigorous in its condemnation of the Ramu nickel/cobalt project in previous years, including commissioning a report by independent scientists.