Irian: Cannibals

Indonesia, Irian Jaya, Yali people

In his book Lords of the Earth, Bible translator and anthropologist, Don Richardson, tells of the Yali peoplethe fierce, mountain-dwelling cannibals of Irian Jaya, Indonesia. For centuries it had been their practice to torture, kill and, yes, eat the enemy people of neighboring villages. Revenge and fear were a “normal” way of life.

Then the Gospel was brought to them.

The Yali and neighboring tribes heard God’s good news about forgiveness of sin and new life in Christ. Many believed. Their way of thinking and living was transformed. As born-again children of God, they now had a new standard of “normal.” Those who had previously hated and feared each other became brothers. To facilitate friendship with their former enemies, they made “better quality footpaths linking Yali villages.”236

Today these former killers show compassion to those who try to harm them, since God’s Spirit has changed their hearts and taught them: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

Used by permission. Taken from ONE GOD ONE MESSAGE by P.D. Bramsen