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» 12/18/2009
INDONESIA
A thousand Islamic extremists, including women and children, storm a Church near Jakarta
by Mathias Hariyadi
The building was near completion and was to be used for Christmas Mass. Local Catholics are afraid that more attacks could take place during the festive season. Police and local authorities urge Catholics to celebrate the service anyway.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Last night a crowd of angry Muslims, including women and children, attacked the Church of Saint Albert, in Bekasi Regency, about 30 kilometres east of Jakarta. The situation is now under control but the local Catholic community is afraid of an escalation before Christmas.

Kurniadi is a member of the committee charged with the church’s construction. He told AsiaNews, “Suddenly, a bunch of bikers arrived in the area where the church stands.” They had banners and kerosene tanks. “We don’t know why we were attacked,” he said.

Kristina Maria Renteana, who was present when the Church was attacked, said, “The mob had about a thousand people,” not only men, but “women and children” as well.

Running around in cars and motorbikes is a tradition for Indonesian Muslims during “national celebrations.”

Last night was the first day of the Islamic New Year, the start of the month of Muharram. Local sources told AsiaNews, on condition of anonymity, that the “crowd was made of people from Tarumajaya and Babelan”, two villages in North Bekasi where Islamic extremists are a majority.

Saint Albert’s Church, a chapel that is part of Saint Arnold’ Church in Bekasi, was not yet finished. Started on 11 May 2008, it had the required building permit for places of worship and was 80 per cent complete. Workers had finished the walls and the roof. Only ceramic floor tiles had to be laid.

Although not yet finished, it was set to host Christmas Mass for the local Christian community.

Now it is damaged but police and government authorities have urged the parish priest, Fr Joseph Jagadwa, to go ahead with the Mass anyway.


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See also
05/22/2008 INDONESIA
Four Indonesians arrested for attack on church
06/02/2014 INDONESIA
Yogyakarta, another attack on Sleman’s Christains
by Mathias Hariyadi

10/22/2010 INDONESIA
Islamic fundamentalists against church named after Mother Teresa
by Mathias Hariyadi
08/19/2010 INDONESIA
Bekasi Christians not intimidated by pressures from Islamic extremists
10/27/2008 INDONESIA
Bali attackers: for Islam, are they heroes or criminals?
by Mathias Hariyadi

Editor's choices
IRAQ - ITALY
Almost 700,000 euros raised as the 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraA second instalment is sent with funds raised in September. The fate of East-West relations is being played out in the Middle East and Iraq. Pope Francis and the Synod issue an appeal. Governments are lukewarm. Aid is coming from around the world. A new international community is defeating the "globalisation of indifference."
IRAQ-VATICAN
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": Archbishops’ thanks as first aid arrives
by Amel NonaMsgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.
ITALY - IRAQ
After raising € 350,000, 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraDonations raised up to 31 August have been sent to the patriarch of Baghdad and the bishops of Kurdistan. The campaign helps to feed, house, clothe, and bring comfort to more than 150,000 Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shia and Sunni refugees who fled the violence of the army of the Islamic Caliphate. People in Italy and around the world have been generous, including the poor and the unemployed, a sign of hope for the world as well as those who suffer and those who give.

Dossier

by di Gerolamo Fazzini, 7 euro
pp. 128
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pp. 528
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