» 08/20/2012, 00.00
Anti-Christian attacks mark the end of Ramadan in Java
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.
(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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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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