Hela Governor Phillip Undialu has rallied support for the Inquiry to Declare PNG as a Christian country.
He said this today when welcoming the Chairman of the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission Kevin Isifu and his team who are in Hela this week to conduct consultations on the Inquiry until Wednesday 19 May.
“As far as the provincial government, PEC, and provincial assembly members are concerned, we are for the amendment,” he said.
Mr. Isifu thanked Governor Undialu for being the only political head who received the CLRC team out of all the parliamentarians of the other provinces CLRC had visited.
Governor Undialu said the reform is timely for PNG to learn from the experiences of other countries that are facing radical religious extremism and violence, cult movements, and other absurd and immoral practices, all carried out in the name of freedom of religion.
“We need to protect and define Christianity and freedom of religion must come with context and guided for the good of the country,” Governor Undialu said.
He said section 45 of the Constitution provides for freedom of religion but it is not detailed or explicit, adding the government should expand on that freedom.
“As it is, the freedom of religion can be misapplied and the consequences of us not attending to it will be severe,” he said.
Governor Undialu added that the Inquiry takes queue from the Preamble to the Constitution that acknowledges Christian values as well.
He said: “It is not something new but just that we have not broadened the scope and defined those Christian values better as to what they mean for our context.”
He commended the Prime Minister James Marape and Chairman of CLRC Kevin Isifu for the taking the “right step”.
Governor Undialu also stressed for CLRC to look into other priority constitutional reforms such as political stability in the election of Prime Ministers, LLG elections and term of occupants, decentralization and economic empowerment of provincial governments, and the constitutionality of District Development Authorities.