Papuan Youth Church Leaders condemn actions of military regarding the killing of Pastor Zanambani

The West Papua Christian Youth Forum has publicly condemned the actions of the army and the police who carried out the shooting of Pastor Yerimia Zanambani in Intan Jaya. "The shooting of this Pastor is the third time this has happened. Pastor Elisa Tabuni was shot dead in Puncak Jaya on 16 August, 2004, Pastor Geyimin Nirigi was shot dead on 19 December 2018 in Mapenduma district, and Pastor Yerimias Zanambani, S.Th was also shot dead by the Army on Saturday 19 September 2020. So, up to now, when the Army has carried out the shooting, it is never resolved. We hope for justice on this land", said the Head of the Youth of the GKI Church in West Papua, Pastor Edison Sekenyap.

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The West Papuan Christian Youth Forum (FPK-TP) condemns the actions of the Indonesian National Army (TNI) and Police who Pastor Nirigi in 2018 and have now done the same thing again, shooting Pastor Yerimias Zanambani, S.Th who was the Head of the Senior Theology School (STA) and Pastor at the GKI Imanuel Church in Hitadipa Village, Intan Jaya as well as being a Bible translator of the Moni language.
"The actions taken by the Army are very unprofessional and they do not act according to their motto of serve and protect. In 2018, Pastor Nirigi was shot dead by members of the Army and now in 2020, Pastor Yerimias Zanambani, S.Th was also shot dead by the Army, "said the leader of the Baptist Youth Department, Sepi Wanimbo.

According to Sepi "A Pastor connects with God's voice, so he is always telling the people the values of truth, honesty, justice and peace taught by the Lord Jesus himself...So, the people of Papua, we always respect and care for these servants of God and never hurt them, but the policy of the security services of the Army and Police is excessive," he explained.

The head of the Baptist Youth asked the President of the Republic of Indonesia to provide an understanding of what the service of the Security Services are supposed to be towards the people of Papua.

"I, as the leader of the Baptist Youth, ask the President of the Republic of Indonesia and the Commander of the Army and Police to provide an understanding of what good, smart, wise service is so that the members of the Army and Police serve the Indonesian people, especially the Papuan people well. Will the Army and Police STOP shooting Pastors in the land of Papua whenever you feel like it. A Pastor is not the same as other leaders, "said Wanimbo.

The head of the Youth of the GKI Church in West Papua, Pastor Edison Sekenyap said that the shootings had now occurred three times and none of the cases have been appropriately resolved.

"The shooting of this Pastor is the third time this has happened. Pastor Elisa Tabuni was shot dead in Puncak Jaya on 16 August, 2004, Pastor Geyimin Nirigi was shot dead on 19 December 2018 in Mapenduma district, and Pastor Yerimias Zanambani, S.Th was also shot dead by the Army on Saturday 19 September 2020. So, up to now, when the Army has carried out the shooting, it is never resolved. We hope for justice on this land, "said Edison.

The Head of Youth for GKI also hopes that this problem will be resolved and the perpetrators will be processed according to the law of this country.

"If possible, there should be a fact-finding team from abroad or from within the country who can find out the motives of the events which keep happening to the people and servants of God in the Land of Papua. That way the congregants, the youth and people of Papua know that this legal process is running in accordance with the constitution and laws in this country, "said Edison. Sekenyap hopes that all churches would also speak about this matter, because this is an injustice committed by the Army against God's servants.
"We also ask the Pacific Council of Churches (PCC), the Asian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches (WCC) to speak out on these cases of murder that keep happening. The perpetrators who carried out this shooting should be prosecuted with appropriate punishment and not just moved to another place or decommissioned. This Pastor did not commit any resistance or acts of violence, he only wanted to feed his livestock in his pigpen. We hope there will be justice, "He said.

What was done by the Army and Police was a repressive and inhuman action. The Army and Police should have a better approach to communities.

"I am so sad this has happened again because where this happens continuously, it creates wounds on top of wounds, shootings on top of shootings. Because there is an accumulation of these incidents it means that the Papuan people can no longer trust these Institutions or the state because they have no intention to resolve these problems" said the Papua Province Catholic Regional Commissioner, Alfonsa Jumko Wayap. Alfonsa said that these incidents continue to occur, causing prolonged trauma which is never resolved. "We are currently at a critical point and the state has never understood what Papuans want. We hoped that there would be an approach that did not resort to violence and the use of the Security Apparatus because this Pastor never fought with weapons, he brought the light of the Gospel. Why is it that a person who doesn't know anything and is carrying out his activities as an ordinary citizen and provided no resistance is shot? "Said Wayap.

Youth leaders who are members of the West Papuan Christian Youth Forum (FPKD - TP) include, Yadinus Mabel, S.Th, Chairperson of the Youth Department of GIDI (Evangelical Church of Indonesia) Sepi Wanimbo, M.KP, Chair of the Papuan Baptist Youth Department; Rev. Sendi Tabuni, M.Th, Head of the KINGMI Youth Department in Papua; Rev. Edison Sekenyap, Head of the Youth Department of GKI in Papua M.Si; Alfonsa J. Wayap, Chair of the Catholic Church - Papua Province Regional Commission.