» 12/17/2014, 00.00
Central Java, Islamist threat: Scrap Christmas symbols and no celebrations
Dozens of Islamic extremists of the Sukaharjo District attacked three shops in Solo. The group has forced retailers not to allow employees to wear Christmas symbols or to promote celebrations. The Mayor of Banda Aceh issued a public announcement prohibiting Muslims to attend Christian events.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Dozens of Islamic extremists in the Sukaharjo District
have attacked three shopping centers in Solo, better known as Surakarta in
Central Java, because they were selling and promoting items, clothing and
events related to Christmas. The group has told the owners and managers of commercial
activities, not to "force" Muslim employees to wear or use clothing
or other items related to the Christian festivity in this high-season shopping period.
After the province of Aceh, the only one in which Sharia law is implemented, a
radical vision of faith is on the increase in other parts of Indonesia as well,
as is the intention to introduce legislation or regulations relating to customs
derived from Islamic law.
There are five local hard-line groups behind the raids which took place on the
evening of 15 December against the Solo shops that exhibited items relating to
Christmas. They are Surakarta's Sharia Council (DSKS), The Islamic Warrior
Group of Surakarta (LUIS), Al Ishlah
Brigade, the Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid and the Jemaah Ansarus Sharia. The Solo
Paragon Lifestlye Mall, the Solo Grand Mall and the Luwes Shop in Kartasura
were the targets of the "attention" of the promoters of the Islamic
After bursting into the shops, they imposed a ban on the retailers prohibiting
them to wear or display any Christmas item, even if for mere commercial reasons.
In recent years it has become common practice in Indonesia, the world's most
populous Muslim nation, to put up Christmas and New Year symbols, also amongst
the shopkeepers. The group's spokesman, Endro Sudarsono, said that the three retail
business groups have pledged to revue and evaluate their sales policy.
However intimidation on the part of the Islamic hard-liners are not limited to
retailers: last week a Muslim leader in Jakarta calling on President Joko
"Jokowi" Widodo not to take
part in any Christmas celebration sponsored by Catholics or Christians. He asks
that celebrations be low-key to not disturb the sensibility of Muslims.
Meanwhile in Aceh, prohibitions to celebrate Christmas are law: last week the Mayor
of Banda Aceh, Illiza Illiza Sa'aduddin Djamal, issued a municipal regulation that forbids
Muslims to join and participate in any event and Christmas service which may be
organized in Aceh.
Catholics in Bogor (West Java) not allowed to celebrate Christmas Mass
The authorities ban all Christian activities, citing as their reason the lack of a proper place of worship, which Catholics have been demanding for years without success. Increasingly, radical Muslims are becoming intolerant towards Christian groups.
For Christmas, Indonesian Catholics promote the apostolate instead of consumerism
The holiday is exploited by merchants and businessmen for money. In response, the faithful give a new boost to morale and to the work of evangelization. The web and the free contribution of lay volunteers are essential for the announcement. At Christmas, a group of catechumens will be baptized. The encounter with the Muslim community.
Muslim commitment ensures peaceful Christmas
Representatives of the country’s most influential Muslim organizations participated in Christmas celebrations held by Christians and supplied 1,500 volunteers to patrol places of worship.
West Java: Moderate Muslims defend the Yasmin Church's Christmas
Hundreds of members of Banser, a paramilitary group, moderate; have protected the Christmas celebrations of the GKI Yasmin Church in Bogor against the threat of radical Islam. Their presence has also been noted in central Java, to protect churches.
Indonesia, arrests made for attack on the Ahmadiyah Community
Police detain 4 people. The aggression dates to Saturday last : over 4 thousands Islamists burn the houses of the community of Muslims considered "heretics".
Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan
During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.
May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium
The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.
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