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Church denies it condones separatism

Jakarta Post - March 25, 2006

Jakarta – The Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI) has responded angrily to a government official's allegation that churches have been used as a medium to spread anti-government propaganda by Papua separatists.

The allegation was made by National Resilience Council secretary general Lt. Gen. Muhammad Yasin earlier this week amid growing political tension in predominantly Christian Papua.

"The council's statement over-simplifies the Papua issue and discredits the church as a separatists' den," PGI chairman Andreas Yewangoe said.

Andreas said it was wrong to point the finger at the church for the current crisis in Papua because the roots of the problem were injustice and poverty. "The PGI fully supports all religious leaders' efforts to make Papua a peaceful land," Yewangoe said.