Waropen, Jubi – Chair of the Synod of the Kingmi Church (GKI) in Papua Rev. Tilas Mom said the church was the last line of defense to unite Indigenous Papuans (OAP) in Papua. He said that amid the division of regencies and cities in Papua and West Papua following the formation of three new provinces, the church must keep Papuans from being divided.
"Jakarta (the central government) may create various ways to divide Papuans, including through regional expansion. But the Papuans should remain united. The church is the last defense for us Papuans. If the church is divided, too, we Papuans are done for," Tilas Mom told Jubi in Waropen on Tuesday, July 19, 2022.
At the XVIII GKI Synod Session, a number of regents, both GKI cadres and cadres from other church denominations, asked GKI leaders to maintain church unity. Even though the number of provinces, regencies, and cities in Papua is increasing, the regional heads want the GKI Synod to remain one.
Further, the regents also called for the eradication of money politics in the current nomination and election of the GKI Synod chair for the next five years.
"This is a sign of warning from church cadres to us church leaders, regardless of denomination, so that we do not act or be influenced by worldly things," said Tilas Mom.
He hoped that the nomination and election process for the GKI Synod chair was in accordance with the rules. Because sometimes, he said that such an election could sometimes trigger a rift within the church when the party that lost at the election did not want to accept the results.
"It is common that the losing candidate ends up trying to form their own class or synod. This is an issue that we, church leaders, certainly pay more attention to. We have to learn to be better than this," he said.
As the leader of the GKI Synod, Tilas Mom hopes that the church he leads and other church denominations such as GIDI and Baptists Church will remain intact and not be broken. "If we the church is divided, the Papuans will also be divided. I agree with the attitude of the church cadres who don't want division in the church," said Tilas Mom.