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    » 08/20/2012, 00.00

    INDONESIA

    Anti-Christian attacks mark the end of Ramadan in Java

    Mathias Hariyadi

    This year's Idul Fitri was tarnished by bloodshed and violence. In Solo, a grenade was thrown at a police station; no victims were reported. In Bandung, police tells priest to stop Mass as many fear attacks by Muslim extremists.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews) - In Indonesia, acts of religious intolerance have characterised this year's Idul Fitri, the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting and praying. Over the week-end, extremist groups stopped a Catholic Mass in West Java. In Solo (central Java), a police station was hit by a grenade attack. Unlike previous years, Muslim celebrations are no longer free of violence. Still, most of the faithful respected an established tradition and invaded the streets on their scooters and other vehicles, honking, blowing horns and shouting "God is great."

    A priest in Bandung said that a group of Muslim extremists prevented Mass celebration in a 'house church' in Majalaya, West Java. He said local police called him on his mobile, warning him of possible "incidents" or attacks against Christians attending Mass during Idul Fitri.

    Local Catholic sources explained that for about "a dozen years" Mass has been celebrated inside a room in a plant in the industrial zone because the authorities "have not issued the appropriate papers" for a permanent structure.

    Similar cases have been reported elsewhere in the country. The latest one involved the Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church in Parung (Bogor Regency) where the lack of a building permit has led to shuttering or demolition of the structure.

    Idul Fitri celebrations have been tarnished by another attack, this one against a police station in Solo, the second largest city in central Java. Here, an unknown number of attackers threw a grenade inside the station as people celebrated in the streets. Fortunately, no one was hurt. However, the fact that it even occurred during the religious celebration is interpreted as a "strong message" to the police.

    It is unclear though, if this attack was a response to the arrest of Muslim leader Abu Bakar Baasyir. For Indonesia's intelligence chief, there were enough elements to find the unknown attacks, but for now, details would not be released.

     

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    See also

    18/08/2012 INDONESIA
    Mass exodus of Muslims marks the end of Ramadan
    Millions of people leave the main cities for their places of origin to celebrate the event with family. Traffic jams block roads whilst transit prices rise. Hundreds are involved in road accidents. In the capital, streets are deserted as businesses close.

    09/09/2010 INDONESIA
    Millions of Indonesians on the move for the feast of Idul Fitri
    The long holiday ends Ramadan. Traditionally Muslims return to their hometown to celebrate. Mile long traffic jams around large cities, long trips that last hours. Christians organize free refreshment centres.

    05/09/2011 INDONESIA
    Water shortages in Jakarta make life hard after Idul Fitri celebrations
    Kalimalamang dam is breached, causing water shortages in the Indonesian capital. Damages were repaired in four days, but problems persist. Thousands line up with buckets and cans. The presidential palace and parliament are also forced to ration water.

    23/10/2006 INDONESIA
    Millions on the move in Indonesia to celebrate the end of Ramadan
    In the world's most populous Muslim country, celebrations for 'Idul Fitri' begin today. Millions of faithful have hit the country's roads, railway stations and bus terminals to travel back to their ancestral towns and villages. High alert is in place in Central Sulawesi province.

    28/07/2015 INDONESIA
    Christians and Buddhists celebrate the end of Ramadan to fight violence with peace
    Religious leaders from various faith groups take part in halal bilhalal celebrations, which are traditionally held across the country with the participation of religious leaders from different faiths. This year, such meetings come at a time of rising confessional tensions and violence.



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