About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Your first visit?
Contact us
External links
Good books
Visitor essays
Our forum
New essays
Other site features
Buy a CD
Vital notes

World religions
Who is a Christian?
Shared beliefs
Handle change
Bible topics
Bible inerrancy
Bible harmony
Interpret Bible
Beliefs, creeds
Da Vinci code
Revelation, 666
Other religions
Other spirituality
Cults and NRMs
Comparing religions

About all religions
Important topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handle change
Confusing terms
World's end
One true religion?
Seasonal topics
Science v. Religion
More info.

Absolute truth

Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten commandm'ts
Assisted suicide
Death penalty
Equal rights - gays & bi's
Gay marriage
Origins of the species
Sex & gender
Spanking kids
Stem cells
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news


Religious Tolerance logo



horizontal rule

Sponsored link.

horizontal rule


bullet"West Papua is the next East Timor" from the home page of Koteka.net.

horizontal rule

Religious and racial divisions:

The island of New Guinea is also called Papua.


The western half is controlled by Indonesia. The area is called  Irian Jaya by the Indonesians and West Papua by the native Papuans.


The eastern half of the island is the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.

Although the population of Papua only constitutes about 0.01% of the world's population, it contains an amazing 15% of the world's known languages! The citizens belong to about 312 tribes including some uncontacted peoples. 1 As a result of past Dutch colonial rule, most of the people follow either Aboriginal or Christian religions:


Indigenous religion: 34%


Roman Catholicism: 22%


Protestants (Lutheran): 16%


Other Protestants: 28% 1,2

The people of the Republic of Indonesia as a whole are primarily Muslim:


Islam: 88%


Protestant Christianity: 5%


Roman Catholicism: 3%.


Hinduism: 2%


Buddhism: 1% 2

The people of Papua are ethnically distinct from the general population of Indonesia. It is impossible to differentiate among ethnic, religious, and economic motivations for the Papuan's maltreatment by Indonesians.

This essay continues below.

horizontal rule

Sponsored link:

horizontal rule

Mass crimes against humanity:

The Independent State of Papua New Guinea is experiencing cross-border incursions by some Indonesians. However, West Papua -- the western half of the island -- is experiencing wide-spread genocide.

According to Survival-International: "All the Papuan peoples have suffered greatly under the Indonesian occupation which has been in force since 1963. The Indonesian army has a long history of human rights violations against the Papuans, and the racist Indonesian soldiers generally view the Papuan people as little more than animals. Papua's natural resources are being exploited at great profit for the Indonesian government and foreign businesses, but at the expense of the Papuan peoples and their homelands. When international companies come to Papua the Indonesian military accompanies them to 'protect' the 'vital projects': with the military there always come human rights violations such as killings, arbitrary arrests, rape and torture. Those Papuans who protest against the Indonesian government, the military or 'vital projects' are even more likely to experience abuses of their human rights." 3,4,5,6 An estimated 100,000 of them were killed by the Indonesian armed forces between 1963 and 2002. 5 The mass murder continues to the present time.

On 2003-DEC-10, The Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights and the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic and Project at Yale Law School issued a report denouncing human rights abuses in Papua. 7 They concluded that the historical and contemporary evidence "strongly suggests that the Indonesian government has committed proscribed acts with the intent to destroy the West Papuans...in violation of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.....The Indonesian military and security forces have engaged in widespread violence and extra-judicial killings in West Papua. They have subjected Papuan men and women to acts of torture, disappearance, rape, and sexual violence, thus causing serious bodily and mental harm. Systematic resource exploitation, the destruction of Papuan resources and crops, compulsory (and often uncompensated) labor, transmigration schemes, and forced relocation have caused pervasive environmental harm to the region, undermined traditional subsistence practices, and led to widespread disease, malnutrition, and death among West Papuans. Such acts, taken as a whole, appear to constitute the imposition of conditions of life calculated to bring about the destruction of the West Papuans. Many of these acts, individually and collectively, clearly constitute crimes against humanity under international law." 8

The land appears to be rich in resources: gold, copper, nickel, oil, timber, etc.

As in East Timor, about 30% of the population appears to have "simply vanished from the face of this earth." One site documents eight known air bombardments, 112 murders and massacres, and 13 disappearances. 10  There are suggestions that the Indonesian government has introduced biological warfare against insurrgants in the area, through the spread of tapeworm-infected pigs. 11 Their report ends with a plea: "These peoples' last and only hope is you. Governments don't want to know or care." 10

horizontal rule


  1. "Peoples of Papua - about," Survival International, at: http://www.survival-international.org/
  2. "The World Almanac and book of facts, 2004," World Almanac Books, (2003).  Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store 
  3. "Indonesian army kills and rapes tribal people," Survival International, 1998-OCT, at: http://www.survival-international.org/
  4. "Indonesia: Papuan leader killed amid military build-up," Survival International, 2002-FEB, at: http://www.survival-international.org/
  5. "Papua: Militias' presence induces fear of military crackdown," Survival International, 2002-MAY, at: http://www.survival-international.org/
  6. "Villagers face starvation as military operation sweeps through Papua," Survival International, 2003-JUL, at: http://www.survival-international.org/
  7. "Indonesian Human Rights Abuses in West Papua: Application of the Law of Genocide to the History of Indonesian Control," Yale Law School, 2003-DEC-10, at:  http://www.law.yale.edu/ You need software to read this file. It can be obtained free from:
  8. "Lowenstein Clinic Releases Report on Human Rights in West Papua," 2003-DEC-9, at: http://www.law.yale.edu/
  9. "Papua: A Christian people seriously at risk," The Institute on Religion and Democracy, 2003-DEC-3, at: http://www.ird-renew.org/
  10. "Indonesian Human Rights Abuses in West Papua (Irian Jaya)," at" http://www.koteka.net/
  11. "Indonesia's Introduction of Biological Warfare in West Papua," at: http://www.koteka.net/

horizontal rule

Site navigation: Home page > Laws & religion Genocide > here

or: Home page > Religious violence Genocide > here

horizontal rule

Copyright © 2004 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2004-FEB-2
Latest update: 2004-NOV-15
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)

horizontal rule

Go to the previous page, or go to the genocide menu, or choose:

Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.