Religious Difference in Papua is Not a Problem

Hasan Samay, a Kaimana resident, revealed that there has never been any problem related to religious tolerance in Papua from the beginning. Religious differences never triggered unrest in the life of Papuans. Even if there is a disorder, it is usually caused more because of social, economic, and political issues.

Furthermore, Hasan Samay pointed out that based on the writings of Dr. Wanggai and stories of old people from generation to generation, Islam entered Papua through the Tidore Kingdom, then to the islands of Raja Ampat. Then it reached Sorong, Salawati, Fakfak, and Kaimana to the border of Timika. Thus, Islam first entered Papua in the southern region of Papua.

It happened long before other religions came to Papua. We know that Christianity entered Papua after obtaining permission from the Tidore Sultanate, because at that time Papua was part of the territory of the Tidore Sultanate.

In addition to giving permission, the Sultan of Tidore also provided sufficient supplies to two evangelists from Germany, namely C.W. Ottow and J.G. Geissler and ordered two members of the kingdom to escort the two Christian missionaries on the island of Mansinam in Papua.

The Sultan of Tidore, who was a Muslim, was very tolerant to religious differences, in fact, openly allowed evangelical missions into Papua and even provided C.W. Ottow and J.G. Geissler with security to guarantee their safety until reaching their destination.

Until now, customary and community leaders from Fakfak to Kaimana are called ‘Kings’. This is different from the customary leaders elsewhere in Papua, who are known as ‘Ondoafi’. This is one of the remaining influences of the Tidore Sultanate that still exists today in Papua.

We hold on to the principle that religious differences in the Papua region are not a problem because religion for us depends on each person’s personal belief. Wherever they live, everyone is free to choose the religion they want to embrace, especially in Papua which is part of NKRI’s territory.

Source : Tabloid West Papua
15 FEBRUARY - 14 MARCH 2018

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