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» 02/08/2011
INDONESIA
Central Java: Thousands of Muslims attack three churches, an orphanage and a Christian centre
by Mathias Hariyadi
Parish priest of Catholic Church badly beaten. A police vehicle torched and the court Temanggung destroyed. The wrath of the crowd unleashed over a blasphemy sentence deemed to lenient (5 years in prison instead of death penalty).

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Thousands of angry Muslims attacked three churches, a Christian orphanage and a health centre that is also a Christian. The violence took place this morning at 10 am (local time) and only ended with the intervention of police in riot gear and police vans. One of the vans was set on fire by the crowd.

The revolt took place in Temanggung regency (Central Java), and started right in front of the town hall: first the crowd attacked the court where a trial against Richmond Bawengan Antonius, a Christian born in Manado (North Sulawesi) , accused of proselytizing and blasphemy was being held.

Bawengan was arrested in October 2010 because during a visit to Temanggung he had distributed printed missionary material, which, among other things, poked fun at some Islamic symbols. The profanity has cost him five years in prison, but the crowd were demanding the death sentence. The violence was sparked by their dissatisfaction with the verdict.

Instead of leaving the court, the crowd started pushing, shouting provocative slogans and then destroyed the building. Hundreds of police rushed in to intervene but failed to appease the thousands of Muslims who began to march en masse to "target Christians" on the main street of the city.

The Catholic Church of St Peter and Paul on Sudirman Boulevard was the first to be attacked, according to AsiaNews sources, the parish priest, Fr Saldhana, a missionary of the Holy Family, was violently beaten as he tried to protect the tabernacle and the Eucharist against the mob.

The crowd then attacked a Pentecostal church. According to the pastor Darmanto - another Christian leader of Temanggung - the main goal was the Pentecostal church, which was then burned. The mob, however, still not appeased went on to destroy in a Catholic orphanage and a health centre of the Sisters of Providence.

Another Protestant church in Shekinah was burnt down.


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See also
12/29/2009 INDONESIA
Muslims attack and set fire to a house of prayers
by Mathias Hariyadi
11/28/2007 INDONESIA
After 40 years a Catholic Church in West Java is forced to close
by Benteng Reges
09/27/2011 INDONESIA
Moluccas, explosive devices found in a church
by Mathias Hariyadi
05/19/2011 INDONESIA
Cirebon: Muslim extremists disrupt Christian services as police looks on
by Mathias Hariyadi
06/05/2007 INDONESIA
West Java: another Christian church attacked

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by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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