Pacific churches want justice on longstanding grievances undermining the rights of Pacific peoples.
General Secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) Rev François Pihaatae will speak on the theme “Peace in the Pacific” in Auckland at 7:30 pm on Thursday night (10 November). He will speak at Grey Lynn Presbyterian Church, 487 Great North Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland.
For more than 50 years, West Papuans have been tortured, killed and pushed from their lands in what Rev Pihaatae calls a silent genocide.
In Kanaky or New Caledonia, the French government has postponed the referendum on Kanaky’s future as agreed in the 2014 Noumea Accord to 2018. France continues to divide the people on the basis of race in order to continue its control of a country that remains on the United Nations Decolonisation List.
PCC has long campaigned for compensation for the impact of nuclear testing in Maohi Nui (French Polynesia). Only two people of the 7,400 people who have cancers relating to the testing have received compensation. Locals fear the islands of Moruroa and Fangafataufa will collapse as a result of 193 nuclear tests, causing further damage. Churches were part of the campaign for Maohi Nui’s reinstatement on the UN Decolonisation List.
PCC brings the many nations of the Pacific together for common action. They have identified key strategies aimed to improve people’s lives and protect their future across the region: climate change, self-determination, gender relations and development.
Rev Pihaatae is a guest of Christian World Service, the development and justice agency of New Zealand churches and a member of the global ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together). PCC is a long term partner of CWS. Funds raised in the annual Christmas Appeal help support its work.
PCC is made up of Protestant and Roman Catholic churches across the region.
Originally from Maohi Nui (Tahiti), Rev Pihaatae is an ordained minister of the Etaretia Porotani Maohi (Maohi Protestant Church). Earlier this year the church decided to take the French government to the International Criminal Court. It intends to charge France for crimes against humanity as a result of 193 nuclear tests on Moruroa and Fangataufa atolls.
For more information, please contact: David Lawson:Mobile: 021 671 430
9 November 2016