The Binahari villages lie inland from Cloudy Bay, in the remote western reaches of Central Province. Their villages are grouped among the Cloudy Bay hills that rise to meet the (almost) impassable Owen Stanley ranges.
The Binahari retain a strong cultural identity. They all continue to use their own language as their primary language.
Those involved in trade also speak secondary languages. Many speak Hiri Motu. They have long used this language to trade with the Motu peoples who used to sail all along the southern coast of the nation. They also speak the languages of the dominant coastal groups of the area, the Mailu people of Central Province and the Suau people in the neighboring province of Milne Bay. Some Binahari people can even speak some English.
The Cloudy Bay hills are often cut off from services and markets by the poor road infrastructure. The unsealed road is often impassable during the rainy season and few Binahari villagers, if any, have a vehicle. With limited access to markets, the Binahari earn very little cash income, relying instead on their traditional subsistence diet of garden food, domesticated pigs and wild animals.
Some Binahari people commute to Port Moresby in search of wage incomes. (Port Moresby is the national capital.) However, the opportunities for unskilled workers in Port Moresby are very poor. Faced with such trying circumstances, young people are tempted to resort to crime or prostitution.
Life is difficult for the Binahari. Most will not live beyond their early 60s. When they get sick or are injured, there is no doctor in the district and only nine nurses to serve the district population of 38,000.
Around 83 per cent identify as Christians. Yet one in five Binahari people still identify with animistic religious practices. Even among Christians, such traditional beliefs remain strong. Fear of evil, death and sickness can cloud the lives of those who still hold onto animistic beliefs. Without the good news in a language that they understand, how can they know the love of God that dispels all fear of evil?
The Binahari don't have access to any portion of the Bible in their own language. Thank God that some Binahari believers can access the scriptures through their secondary languages, Hiri Motu, Suau and the Mailu language. However, there are many who struggle to understand the concepts of God's word in these less familiar languages.
Many Binahari adults did not have the opportunity to go to school. As a result, three in four Binahari people are unable to read. There are now elementary and primary schools in the Binahari area, but children must walk several days to reach high school. Three in ten children are not in school.
Thank God that some Binahari believers can access the scriptures through their secondary languages, Hiri Motu, Suau and the Mailu language.
Thank God that many Binahari identify as Christian, and we trust that many of them are following Jesus as best they know.
Ask God to provide an adequate livelihood to the Binahari people, despite the challenges of subsistence and poor access to markets.
Pray that God delivers Binahari people in Port Moresby from temptations into crime or prostitution, which will destroy them.
Pray that God's love will swallow up all fear.
Pray that those with access to God's word will be transformed, and that they will be a positive influence in getting God's word into their own language, the Binahari.
Pray that those who can understand the scriptures in other languages will accurately pass it on to the rest of the Binahari.
Pray that the good news will be communicated to the Binahari people either in the JESUS Film, in audio stories or in other means that the people can understand.
Scripture Prayers for the Binahari in Papua New Guinea.
Wycliffe Bible Translators
|Profile Source: Joshua Project|
|People Name General||Binahari|
|People Name in Country||Binahari|
|Population this Country||1,200|
|Population all Countries||1,200|
|Progress Scale||5 ●|
|Frontier People Group||No|
|GSEC||5 (per PeopleGroups.org)|
|Pioneer Workers Needed|
|Country||Papua New Guinea|
|Region||Australia and Pacific|
|Persecution Rank||Not ranked|
|Location in Country||Central province: Cloudy Bay hills range inland. Source: Ethnologue 2016|