YES, Christian churches must step up, as The National newspaper said on Thursday in reference to sorcery.
But, as I was talking with a group of university students about the issue, a few insights emerged, including that some students feel personally threatened by sorcery.
A girl originally from Gulf Province said she had never set foot in her village since she was born. She maintained that about 20 of her relatives succumbed to sorcery in the last few years alone. Her father barely survived it when he travelled from Port Moresby to the remote area to settle some land issues.
Another student, originally from Bogia, told a similar story.
You could feel the sense of despair, suffering and injustice in their facial expressions. The two wondered why the sacrifice of education should make them outcasts and a target for murder in their place of origin.
According to their information, more poor and isolated youth are turning to sorcery practices out of envy towards anybody who may seem to be one step ahead of them.
It is like the evil part of the human having the upper hand in the inner struggle between good and bad.
The students think that there is a religious aspect of the problem to be addressed by the Churches. But they also think that the new generation should be taken out of isolation through better education, communication and travel.
When asked about the main infrastructural difference between urban and rural areas, the students hardly mentioned electrification. The reason is probably that they grew up in Port Moresby and never realised that lack of electrical power in rural areas means long nights, no alternative entertainment, no radio and television, no movies, no computers, no good communication networks.
The fight against sorcery can probably be won in a few generations, but everybody has to do their part - the Churches, the education system and the government - by investing in the electrification of the country and what follows this.
You remove electricity from a modern country and you go back one thousand years. You put it in a developing country and immediately you jump ahead.