Irumu in Papua New Guinea

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People Name: Irumu
Country: Papua New Guinea
10/40 Window: No
Population: 1,900
World Population: 1,900
Primary Language: Tuma-Irumu
Primary Religion: Christianity
Christian Adherents: 85.00 %
Evangelicals: 18.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: New Guinea
Affinity Bloc: Pacific Islanders
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Irumu people were introduced to Christianity by indigenous evangelists from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of PNG (ELCPNG). Rudimentary but effective schools were established to teach education basics which introduced literacy effectively to the population. The Bible, liturgy and hymns were all introduced in a language not their own from the coast, but were embraced comprehensively.

Where Are they Located?

The Irumu people are located at an elevation of 1000 metres in the foothills of the Sarawaged mountain range of the Morobe Province. The terrain is entirely mountainous.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Irumu people live a subsistence life with vegetable gardens. The area is fertile and has good rainfall so food is plentiful. People hunt for wild pig and some pigs and chickens are cared for, but on the whole meat is not a large part of their diet. Houses are mostly of bush material but iron roofs for water collection are becoming more commonplace. Families have small solar systems for low-level lighting, and spotty mobile phone reception is available. There is a primary school in one of the villages and a number of children go on to secondary education away from their village. Infant mortality has improved over the years but the terrain, smokey houses and diet take their toll. Cash crops of coffee, peanuts and tobacco provide cash for schooling costs, and everyday rudimentary necessities.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Irumu people are foundationally animist but Christianity has become 'cultural' and normative. A good proportion of the population attends church but seem to not understand the concept of a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. 'Cargo Cult' thinking where manipulation of spiritual forces, or even God in order to find the good life is a background noise in the life of many people. This has the effect of people feeling that God is holding out on them but seems to bless Westerners, for instance, because they have discovered the secret to blessing.

Prayer Points

Pray for a renewed uptake in reading of or listening to the transated Irumu Scriptures. Pray for the encouragement of those who love Jesus Christ and seek to follow him. Pray for Jesus Christ loving pastors. Pray for many Irumu people to give their true alleigance to Jesus Christ.

Text Source:   Ross Webb