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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
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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