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Catholic teacher shot dead in Papua

JAKARTA (AsiaNews): The body of 27-year-old Yuni Yesra Patatang, a Catholic teacher responsible for a youth group ministry, the Orang Muda Katolik, was found on the evening of September 12 in Ilaga in the Puncak Jaya district of the province of Papua in Indonesia.

News of his death was released by the Commission for Youth Ministry of the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference.

Patatang’s body was found at about 6.30pm with two bullet wounds. No one has claimed responsibility for the murder.

He was born to a family of the Toraja ethnic group and had graduated in catechetical studies.

In addition to following the youth group, he was also a teacher of religion and catechism in elementary schools, while working as a part-time taxi driver.

The Catholic youth movement will celebrate the National Day in Manado (North Sulawesi) in October and young people from 37 dioceses across the country are expected to gather together.

The gathering will be hosted by local families and continue for several days of living and praying together. In 2017 Indonesia will host Asian Youth Day.

Puncak Jaya is one of the most dangerous districts of the volatile province of Papua province, where several separatist groups, including the Organisasi Papua Merdeka, are still active, fighting with government troops.

Indonesia is carrying out a colonisation by population campaign, flooding the area with people from Indonesia so that the local Papuan people have become a marginalised minority.

Church groups, with the assistance from Australia, have campaigned for more justice for local people in the job market, as well as in educational opportunities and the freedom to practice their traditional religions.

The struggle against the Indonesian colonisation has been characterised by much oppression and often violence and imprisonment for local people

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