4 Dec 2013

PNG Govt aiming to dispel sorcery belief

8:35 am on 4 December 2013

A senior Papua New Guinea official says the government's ultimate goal is to dispel people's belief in sorcery.

The secretary to the department of justice and attorney general, Lawrence Kalinoe, made the comment at a sorcery-related violence conference underway in the Eastern Highlands provincial capital, Goroka.

A series of brutal murders of women accused of sorcery sparked international outrage and prompted the PNG government this year to repeal the 1971 Sorcery Act as well as to bring back the death penalty.

But Dr Kalinoe says legislation is only part of the solution.

"Some of these bad customs like sorcery have been maintained in the pretext that it's part of our cultural heritage. It is for that reason I said, 'Enough of this nonsense.' I think we need to move on. Papua New Guinea is now much more enlightened than it was."

Lawrence Kalinoe says belief in Christianity will do more for people than sorcery.