PNG Attitude scours a range of publications for material of interest to readers. In doing so, we’ve discovered that a characteristic of many missionary organisations is a tendency to exaggerate the dangers and bizarreness of their work in Papua New Guinea. We publish these articles without comment, although we do omit the most offensive or insensitive parts. Here Phil Fitzpatrick addresses the issue….
I FIND THE PROPENSITY of missionaries in Papua New Guinea, both now and in the past, to discover things that aren't there extremely curious.
The recent account of ‘ritual widow-killing’ isn't an isolated story. In fact, a few of the missionaries’ more outrageous and ludicrous accounts occasionally feature on PNG Attitude.
These articles are the tip of the iceberg. If you check out some of mission blogs, especially the American fundamentalists like New Tribes, hideous pagan rituals and customs in Papua New Guinea are in plague proportions.
The most common modern missionary claim seems to be that their people go to places where no European has ever been before.
This pioneering trek is closely followed by the discovery of some licentious behaviour which is healed through the power of prayer.
Either these missionaries are extremely gullible or they are not telling the truth. I suspect the latter.
But I suppose making up wild and improbable stories is part and parcel of the Christian zealot's ethos.
What sad people. You'd think they'd have better things to do than bother hitherto happy villagers.