Woman Burned at the stake after being accused of being a witch?

How does one describe the utter disappointment after incidents like this?  As humanity we have come so far, but what good does it do us if we allow large pockets of the world to succumb to the same fate as so many people of our past?  The position many news agencies are taking on the particular case is one that misses a very real aspect, “Papua New Guinea, suffers from a lack of education”.  So what exactly did the missionaries do when they visited this place?

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea

ELCONG set up in the late 1800’s and quickly spread throughout the region.  Within the first ten years of their settlement at least 4 missions had been established.  Today the Protestant religion has a prominent role in New Guinea.  the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea Act 1991, officially incorporated the Lutheran church.  Among Protestantism, you will also find Catholicism here.  The history of this country stems from tribalism, where headhunting and cannibalism were prominent features of their culture.

Although we don’t see cannibalism in Papua New Guinea today, does that mean the missionaries get off easy?  I think not.  If the townsfolk had chosen to deport this woman, or even give her a court hearing where they determined to send her away, religion wouldn’t boil to the surface of my thoughts.  So where did these people get the idea that you are SUPPOSED to burn witches at the stake?  Where in the world does this concept of murdering someone for being something that doesn’t even exist come from?  History tells us, that Christianity and other religions are guilty of many witch killings, Vampire staking, demon hunting, you get the picture.  So missionaries have been successful in taking a culture from ritualistically eating each other, to religiously burning one another alive?

admittedly, I have only heard of several cases like this from New Guinea.  I hope after the backlash they will receive from outside communities this burning people will be ruled out as a viable option to rid the world of things that don’t exist.  I simply wanted to draw a similarity between the what, (witch), why (sin), where (religions population), when (today), how (BURNED).

Tourchered before being burned!

If this were merely based on education, then it wouldn’t have happened in Europe at he hand of Kings and Queens.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papua_New_Guinea

http://www.paclii.org/pg/legis/consol_act/elcopnga1991406/

http://www.elcpng.org.pg/Who-We-Are-History.htm

http://www.iphone.malaysiandigest.com/world/250401-20-year-old-mother-accused-of-being-a-witch-tortured-and-burned-alive.html

http://www.upi.com/blog/2013/02/08/Accused-witch-tortured-burned-alive-in-Papua-New-Guinea/5641360327446/

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9 thoughts on “Woman Burned at the stake after being accused of being a witch?

  1. While your statement is without any real historical rigor at all and is very misleading, I understand your emotion. I highly recommend that you broaden your perspective by taking some world history courses from a respectable university. Your “lense” is clouded and can become unclouded if you really try to learn and undrestand the historical truth.

    • Esko says:

      Why don’t you enlighten me then Francis. If you are so certain my understanding of history is incorrect? I understand that religion put us into the dark ages, and gradually pulled us out, but in the process the trade off was one form of Barbarism for another.

      • Dear Esko – your analysis is generally lacking in knowledge and understanding of the meaning and history of religion in general and specifically that of Christendom. You really need to read and study history before deciding whether or not to make a broad condemnations of religion. How do you arrive at the notion that “religion put us in the dark ages?” On what historical, factual basis do you arrive at that conclusion?

      • Esko says:

        We went from the heights of Greek and Roman innovation, to the 3rd century where nearly all of the progress in humanities, philosophy, mathematics, medicine, government, and so on regressed for a period of almost a thousand years. Religion was the main culprit in slowing the progress. But the benefit was that the spread of cohesive communities arose through monasteries throughout Europe which would become universities. One misconception is that the catholic church invented the university, but we know from Aristotle that the first university was established in ancient Greece.
        History is clear on this. There is a regression from classical thought, known as “the Dark Ages”. It is labeled as such for a reason.
        Now why don’t you give me some facts that back up your notion that I am completely wrong?

      • How could a religion, such as that of Judeo-Christian tradition which values truth and wisdom and “light,” lead to a decline as you write? Does that really make sense to you that we would have a well-documented canon of Scripture from many centuries B.C. and to this day, yet the same religion which valued writing and history and record-keeping and education about its God and what is right and wrong would also be the same one to lead to the decline as you write? How could laws which we have today or in the most recent century mirror the values and morals which are found in very early Judeo-Christian teaching? There is a logic break here. Also, who coined the term “Dark Ages” and why? By your use of the term “Dark Ages,” I can see that you have not objectively studied Church history from the 1st through the 4th Centuries A.D. “Dark Ages” is a favorite term used by some protestants who desire to place the Catholic Church in an unfair light. But that term is also used by professional historians who understand their history and how European society was learning how to govern itself civilly during a period the 4th through the 9th Centuries A.D. It is the Catholic Church that enabled European and Asian society to prosper as it learned to govern itself. Study! 🙂

      • Esko says:

        I actually alluded to the fact that this religion in particular actually did pull us out of the dark ages. I merely argue that it was one of the main causes of putting us there to begin with. Selling of indulgences, condoning of slavery, intolerance of other religions, subjugation of women, accusations of heresy, judgment of gays, impedance on science, celebration of martyrdom, promise of an afterlife, acceptance of class segregation, I could go on. These are only a few of the negative side effects of the early church. Luckily today it is a in its “death throws”, as Christopher Hitchens points out. before the separation of church and state Christianity was on a path to do exactly what the book speaks out against, “establishing a one world government. The catholic church had the largest empire to date despite what the history books tell us. We are luck Voltaire came along, and was capable of spreading his ideas during the enlightenment.
        I have studied history, and I can see you have as well. I will not make a straw man out of you,nor will I employ ad hominem. You and I are arguing semantics here, as we see history from two different angles. The most likely truth is that our interpretations of history are both correct and wrong. As Burtrand Russel points out no two people will view the same table in the same way. With this in mind i always enjoy a stimulating conversation. Thank you

      • Dear Esko – in order to understand the Catholic Church (and the truths of its history), I highly recommend that you find a competent Catholic university and enroll in Church history and theology courses. Alternatively, for Church History, I highly recommend you purchase Dr. Warren Carroll’s “A History of Christendom” volumes 2 through 5 in order to give you a very objective, albeit sometimes slightly biased perspective of what really happened in the Church from the 2nd Century onward. Some of the conclusions you make, while understood from an untrained secularists’ point of view, do not reflect reality or understanding of true Catholic history and theology from the standpoint of those who generated that history (Catholics, and not protestants or secularists) and theology (Catholics, and not protestants and secularists). I also recommend a book, “Architects of the Culture of Death” by DiMarco et al to give you some insight into what tends to make a person into a famous atheist. Getting more instruction will help you. You’ll understand that it isn’t the Catholic Church/religion that is evil. Evil comes through individuals who disobey and rebel – individuals who are imperfect and subject to weakness. Atheists are individuals, too, and they really err because they do not accept the benefit of corporate knowledge, history and promises from the Creator. But the Church does not disobey and rebel; she even becomes more beautiful over time. The Church is in love with Her God.

      • Esko says:

        I appreciate your assumption that I didn’t attend a Catholic university. I studied humanities at Chaminade University of Honolulu. I have studied both extremes of Religious Cosmology. It was my studies at the Catholic university that led me to reconsider the validity of Christianity, and all religions for that matter. While I am not willing to say it is impossible for a god to exist, I tend to think that if there was one it wouldn’t be the one of the Bible.

      • Well, I recommend that you try to trust in the Apostles (the Gospels/Acts/Epistles/Catholic Letters) and the Apostolic Fathers who learned from the Apostles and go from there. If St. Thomas the Apostle said that he saw Jesus Christ and touched His wounds (and would not believe until he did so) and if St. John said he witnessed several miracles, and so on, and if these men were afraid of Jesus Christ such that they knew they would be judged by Him, I think we should believe them. There is no other reliable source than the Apostles who were a) chosen and b) intimate eye-witnesses. Besides that, we can know that God exists via our own reason; we look at the earth, it’s life, it’s beauty, it’s bounty – at how life tends to form in communities with mates, parents and children and we see the Trinitarian pattern, an so on. We didn’t make this up. It’s there, but God reveals Himself as He wills to whom He wills, how He wills. We don’t direct how God will be or what He will do. He Is as He Is and as He has been revealed to us.

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