Today the Anglican Communion remembers the Martyrs of New Guinea (1942).
The Japanese had put ashore troops in Papua near Gona by July 1942 with a view to taking Lae and Salamaua. The Japanese did not harass or occupy Dogura mission itself and services continued in the cathedral throughout the war, with congregations amply enlarged by visitors from the Australian and American armed forces. However, the Anglican Church elsewhere fared less well. In Anglican terminology the New Guinea Martyrs were eight Anglican clergy, teachers and medical missionaries killed by the Japanese in 1942, the Anglican Bishop of New Guinea (then a diocese of the ecclesiastical Province of Queensland) Philip Strong having instructed Anglican missionaries to remain at their posts despite the Japanese invasion. Three hundred thirty-three church workers of various denominations were killed during the Japanese occupation of New Guinea.
The 20th Century Martyrs.A statue of Lucian Tapiedi, the one indigenous Papuan among the Anglican martyrs of New Guinea, is installed among the niches with other 20th-century Christian martyrs from the wider Church, over the west door of Westminster Abbey in London.
All Catholics would bow their heads with respect to these brave men and women who were killed by the Japanese. However one has to question whether these people died for their faith in the traditional sense, as many are dying today in Iraq under ISIS. They were just Europeans in the wrong place, as the people of Nanking; except those 20,000 protected by the Nazi Rebe, were the Chinese in the wrong place under Japanese atrocities; as the gassed victims of the biological weapons by the Japanese in Manchuria; just as the Dutch living in Indonesia at the time; just as the Philippines national, at the time of Japanese occupation. The murder of any and all civilians by the cruel, evil, war crimes that were normal business procedure for the Japanese forces across Indo-china; Burma; and China during this time.
We tend to forget the evil of our convenient allies, just as the USA ignored the war crimes of the Manchurian biological weapon production and usage by the Japanese in return for their technology.
Well, first off, Lucien Tapiedi was not European. Most of the others who are remembered on this day were not either; they were Australian, although that would have hardly mattered to the Japanese. In a larger sense, though, ask yourself this question: When Catholic missionaries were trying to convert the Algonquin peoples, and were murdered by the Iroquois, were they not martyrs “in the traditional sense”? They knowingly put themselves in harm’s way to bring the gospel to the world. So, yes, I think they deserve to be remembered as martyrs.
What is the name of this?