Evangelical Christian Church in Tanah Papua
(Gereja Kristen Injili di Tanah Papua, GKITP)
The Evangelical Christian Church in Tanah Papua is the fruit of the work of the Gossner Mission (Germany) which started in 1855, and of the mission of the Netherlands Reformed Church which began in 1870. The church became autonomous in 1956. Its motto is from Ephesians 5:8 "for once you were darkness but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light."
The Evangelical Christian Church in Tanah Papua seeks to grow and to develop its theological vision in the spirit of Eph. 5:8. Ideally this is the vision of the kingdom of God. Operationally, the theological vision of the church is to demonstrate the signs of the kingdom, e.g. "Shalom", in its mission activities. It has been able to develop into a mature church which has the capacity to support its actions of service by means of its own financial and human resources. The four main programmes are 1) public services in the area of human rights, legal support, politics and human security; 2) theology, evangelism and mission; 3) education, from elementary to tertiary levels; and 4) awareness building for financial self-reliance. The church has its own theological seminary for the training of pastors.
The GKITP is organized according to the presbyterian-synodal model. The synod is the highest governing body. It elects an executive board, composed of eight regional and five executive members, which is responsible for the day-to-day running of the church. In the areas of human rights and politics in Papua the GKITP is playing a very significant role. Through the campaign "Papua as Land of Peace" the church is involved in the resolution of conflicts in the community, in cooperation with the Roman Catholic Church, other Protestant churches and other faith groups in the region.