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The bizarre cult that kills

A Christian religious sect in the Telefomin District of Papua New Guinea has allegedly killed six people in what is believed to be a string of violent attacks targeted at Christians of other denominations.

The religious rebellion commenced on the first week of last month (September) and escalated throughout the month with business houses being shut down, schools closed and people seeking refuge from fear of being attacked by the religious group who call themselves the Prophecy Group.

On September 12, the Prophecy Group is believed to have come out of their base situated in a jungle to Oksapmin Station to conduct an outreach program.

“A fight broke out after the group’s biblical teachings on faith were contested by members of the other denominations. The Prophecy Group then regrouped and went on rampaging the community,” community leader, Jacky Timdan said.

He said this went on throughout the month of September where six people were killed and properties destroyed.

The worship area of the cult religious group, situated outside Mitihanap Ward. Picture Jacky Timdan
The worship area of the cult religious group, situated outside Mitihanap Ward. Picture Jacky Timdan

He added this has created disharmony, instilled fear in people and many had become homeless in the Oksapmin community and wider Telefomin District.

“The act was a total portrayal of cult practice and before it gets out of hand, it needs immediate interventions from the police and the leaders from the electorate,” Oksapmin Local Level Government President, Koniel Nereng said.

Mr Nereng was one of the victims of the religious rebellion who lost most of his property when the Mitihanap Ward was attacked by the Prophecy Group.

He said tension was still high as there was no law enforcement agency on the ground to control and contain the situation.

The Pacific Advocate understands that the police are aware of the situation and willing to carry out operations, however, given the nature of the situation and locality of the area, they need logistical support to fully restore rule of law back in the entire district.

One of the victims who sustained serious wounds from the cult group. Picture Jacky Timdan
One of the victims who sustained serious wounds from the cult group. Picture: Jacky Timdan

Things are getting violent as people of Telefomin District have started talking about taking action themselves against the Prophecy Group.

Community leaders from Okaspmin led by Mr Nereng and his ward councillors have contributed money towards a mission to remove the group from their community.

They are looking at a budget of K127,552 (AU$56,400) to help support this mission. According to a source, those died were killed by their own relatives who are the followers of the Prophesy Group.

Those who died and those who sustained serious injuries are all from Mitihanap Ward of Oksapmin Local Level Government in Telefomin District of Sandaun Province.

Satelite image showing Oksapmin. The Prophesy Group camp site is as indicated. Picture Supplied
Satellite image showing Oksapmin. The Prophecy Group camp site is as indicated. Picture: Supplied

The Prophecy Group was formed in 2019 after some members broke away from the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in the district.

The membership of this group has grown and now exceeds 900, and is largely dominated by people from Oksapmin. Their worship base camp or church is situated in the wilderness, far from the Oksapmin community.

This group base their teachings more on Ellen G White Books rather than Holy Bible. Ellen G White is an American author and co-founder of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

4 Comments
  1. Apollos Apasar 2 months ago
    Reply

    This is not the first for West Sepik Province. Some years ago a sect from CBC started a new sabbath fellowship in the Nuku District. Rumour has it that there was conflict and violence to a degree when that happened. PNG has become a easy prey to bizzare religious sects as seen in Madang and the AROB in recent times.
    I’m surprised that it could happened in Telefomin District, a place where tolerance is easily taken for granted.
    Authorities should establish immediate control to minimize loss of life and property asap.
    We are praying for peace and normalcy to reign in Oksapmin and Telefomin soon.

  2. Philemon Augustine 2 months ago
    Reply

    Arrest those culprits, the Prophecy Group and locked them up.

  3. Philemon Augustine 2 months ago
    Reply

    The member for oksapmin/telefomin to provide logistic support to the police department and please make a quick investigation and arrest these propechy group before the situation is worse.

  4. Anton Lutz 2 months ago
    Reply

    We’ve been tracking a different cult in the lower Lagaip valley, just east of Oksapmin, for a few years now. Fascinating and tragic stuff. It’s spread from Ambi through to Waiki and Wanakipa.

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