Saturday, April 11, 2009

Commemorating Silent Saturday in Manokwari Papua

by Charles Roring in Manokwari of West Papua - Indonesia

Today I don't write a travel story. I just visited the Roman Catholic Cathedral St. Agustinus in Manokwari to see how the Papuan people were commemorating the silent Saturday. Yesterday was Good Friday. And tomorrow will be the celebration of Easter. Papuan people are predominantly Christians. They traveled from every corner of the town to this church for praying to the crucified Jesus.


It was hot and a lot of people gathered around the yard of the church singing hymns and gospel songs. Actually for Catholics, according to the tradition of the church, the Christians do not ring metal instruments. Most of the pilgrims today were protestant of many denominations. The relation and tolerance among these different faiths are good. They are now united under the cross of Jesus Christ.


Manokwari is an important town for Papuan due to its statues as "Gospel Town." In 5 February 1855, two European evangelists landed on Mansinam island of Manokwari to preach Gospel to the tribes in Papua. Every year that day is celebrated as the day of the landing of Gospel in Papua.


West Papua is the second largest island in the world now experiencing rapid deforestation and irresponsible exploitation of its natural resources by a number of multi national companies. Such destruction to the environment has caused rapid shrinking in the number of wild animals both on land and under water. Also read: Traveling to Mansinam island of West Papua and Traveling around Manokwari

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