Tribal conflict has broken out in Papua New Guinea (PNG), affecting the valley where the Wycliffe Bible Translators recently dedicated three New Testaments.
The unrest started in the valley where the Bible translation centre of Ukarumpa is based and was the result of a lengthy dispute over access to water.
According to Wycliffe worker Heather Patrick, who has lived and worked in PNG for more than 30 years, this escalated into weeks of violence, renewing ancient tribal conflicts and causing the deaths of four villagers.
Some 70 homes were burned to the ground in the attack, leaving many villagers homeless and in fear of their own lives. One criminal gang broke into a Wycliffe employee’s home and hijacked a vehicle, but nobody in the centre was injured and the centre itself escaped the uproar.
Heather said: ‘It’s sad to see the violence, but not a surprise. With three New Testament dedications and progress in many other translation projects, we shouldn’t be surprised that the devil wants to make things difficult’.