There is a growing movement in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to associate with Israel. This is especially prevalent here in the Sepik. Did you notice the Israeli flag on the grandstand for the National Day of Prayer? A church raised K10,000 ($4,100 USD) for missions and sent it to help relocate Jews back to Israel. Almost any march that happens here in Wewak has the Israeli flag somewhere in the march, and often the flag is at the front. I heard (unconfirmed) of a group of people who took several kilos of gold to Israel and presented it to the Temple Institute to help prepare for the building of the next temple. Why is PNG so concerned about Israel?
There are many reasons which stem from the interaction of the Bible, the Melanesian world view, and traditional beliefs. The most common thread is that those who help Israel will be in God’s favour and receive a blessing of some sort from God. God told Abraham in Genesis 12:3 that “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all the peoples of the earth will be blessed through you.” Often this is interpreted as a physical blessing such as riches. Receiving a blessing from blessing Israel makes sense from a viewpoint that sees a direct connection with cause and effect between the physical and spiritual aspects of life.
Papua New Guinea is undergoing rapid cultural change as the interaction between PNG cultures and outside cultures increases. But this is one area that seems likely to stay for years to come and continue to increase in prevalence in the near future.