29 July, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 06/19/2012
INDONESIA
Hundreds of Muslim extremists attack Christian prayer house in Aceh
by Mathias Hariyadi
The building was hit by stones and pebbles, suffering major damages. The place of worship belongs to a Protestant group, the Indonesian Bethel Church. According to fundamentalist, the place lacks the right building permit. Violence in the province is up.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - A mob of Muslim extremists attacked a Christian prayer house in Aceh Province. The building was damaged and worshippers were forced to stop the service. Local witnesses, who asked their names be withheld, said that the attack occurred last Sunday, during worship. The place itself belongs to the Indonesian Bethel Church.

The fundamentalist attack was apparently caused by a lack of building permit (Izin Mendirikan Bangunan in Indonesian), a claim Christians deny. More disheartening for the members of the congregation is the fact that the attack occurred under the eyes of the police, which did not lift a finger, except to place seals on the building after the incident.

The Indonesian Bethel Church where the attack took place is located in Peunayong, capital of the province of Banda Aceh.

The mob struck during Sunday prayer. Hundreds of attackers hurled stones and pebbles against the building, causing major damages to the structures.

Eyewitnesses confirmed that the police stood idly by as the incident unfolded, whilst worshippers had to evacuate the building, seeking refuge in a safer location.

Human rights activists and associations slammed the extremist raid, noting that it occurred in a place that had been characterised by relative calm and a "pluralistic environment".

Aceh, Indonesia's westernmost province, is also the only part of the archipelago where Sharia is enforced. Provincial authorities use a morality police, a special street-level law enforcement unit, to crack down on people who violate the local moral code.

Under Governor Irwandy Yusuf, a former rebel fighter, there was some degree of interreligious peace and harmony between the Muslim majorities and non-Muslim "foreigners". However, things have recently changed. As fundamentalists gained more power and freedom to act, religious  minorities have come under attack.

In last April's elections, long-time exiled (in Sweden) former separatist leader Zaini Abdullah easily won on a platform centred on fighting corruption and enforcing Islamic law.

As signs of growing interreligious tensions multiply, local Christian communities have seen attacks and acts of violence, included the forced closure of their places of worship, increase.

Indonesia has a history of moralisation campaigns in the name of Sharia and Muslim customs, which are particular rigid in Aceh. The most recent case involved a ban on miniskirts, a moralisation campaign led by ulemas against yoga and tobacco, and police action against people wearing jeans and tight skirts.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
12/26/2006 INDONESIA
Tsunami: Reconstruction in Aceh and Nias Island blocked by corruption
by Benteng Reges
05/18/2005 INDONESIA
Jakarta lifts Aceh emergency rule
01/05/2005 INDONESIA
Famine haunts the population of Simeuleu Island
by Mathias Hariyadi
10/13/2008 INDONESIA
Aceh gives a hero’s welcome to former ‘Enemy Number 1’ Hasan Tiro
by Mathias Hariyadi
04/07/2010 INDONESIA
Major earthquake hits Aceh, no victims
by Mathias Hariyadi

Editor's choices
VATICAN
"Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop!" says pope as he speaks out on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, "a day of mourning," we should learn the lessons of history. The Gospel makes us know the true Jesus, the living Jesus, who speaks to the heart and is a life changer as he was for Saint Francis of Assisi. "The joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God comes through, can be seen. Christians cannot hide their faith."
IRAQ - VATICAN
Saddened by "the timidity of the civilised world," Baghdad patriarch's heart bleeding "for the innocent in Iraq, Syria and Gaza" "Forget us not!" says Mar Louis Sako in a message to Card Barbarin on the occasion of the march of solidarity with Iraqi Christians, held today in Lyon.
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.