» 02/11/2013, 00.00
South Sulawesi: Molotov cocktail attack on Protestant church, fear among Christians
The Toraja Mamassa attacked in Makassar, the provincial capital. Three unidentified persons hurled crude bombs against the front of the building, which suffered minor damage, no one has so far claimed responsibility. The authorities have tightened security levels in the area.
(AsiaNews) - A group of unknown assailants attacked the Protestant Church
Toraja Mamassa in Makassar, the capital of the Indonesian province of South
Sulawesi with Molotov cocktails. The
episode took place at 4 this morning and so far, nothing is known of the authors
of the act and there are no official claims. In
an attempt to set it on fire, the unknown assailants caused minor damage to the
building. Investigators are focusing on Islamic extremist factions in the area,
but there is no physical evidence so far.
authorities have tightened controls and the level of security around the Christian
place of worship and throughout the area. Local
witnesses reported that, in the night, three unidentified people hurled Molotov
cocktails at the building, then they hastily abandoned the scene of the crime. The act has
caused minor damage to the walls of the structure.
area of Makassar has long enjoyed peace and tranquility, without serious
incidents linked to Islamic fundamentalism or religious tensions. However,
towards the end of last year the situation changed so much that the authorities
had to raise the alert level. In
November, an Islamic extremist faction targeted the governor of South Sulawesi
Sahrul Yasril Limpo, targeting him with a rudimentary bomb during a sporting
early January 2013 two members of a Muslim extremist group engaged in a
shootout with police inside a mosque. The battle
ended with the death of two terrorists.
1997 to 2001 the island of Sulawesi and the nearby Moluccas were the scene of a
bloody Muslim-Christian conflict. Thousands
of victims and houses were razed to the ground, hundreds of churches and
mosques destroyed, and almost half a million people made refugees, of which 25
thousand in Poso alone. On
20 December 2001 a truce was signed between the two sides in Malino, South
Sulawesi, through a peace plan promoted by the government. However,
the truce has not stopped sporadic episodes of terror against innocent victims.
Among the various cases the beheading of three girls on their way to school, at
the hands of Islamic extremists in October 2005 (see .
AsiaNews 29/10/2005 Indonesia:
three Christian schoolgirls beheaded) raised global indignation.
Christians in Bekasi forced to celebrate in the open air under police protection
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The faithful of the Yasmin Church (YC) and Hkbp Filadelfia celebrated the feast outside the offices of the Head of State. YC Spokesman to Yudhoyono: Open your eyes and take measures to ensure the practice of worship. Also critical to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who in Geneva depicts a country where harmony and tolerance reigns.
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Two judgments of the Administrative Court of Bandung and the Supreme Court had ruled that the place of worship had necessary construction permits. The authorities ordered the closure, because of fundamentalist protests. From January 10 Protestant churches and one Catholic have halted celebrations.
Four Indonesians arrested for attack on church
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Domestic Church attacked; pastor and faithful injured
Over 300 Islamic extremists attacked a protestant congregation gathered to celebrate Sunday service. The reason remains unclear. The Synod of Christian Churches expresses concern.
ISRAEL – PALESTINE
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Mgr Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo stressed the importance of education to ensure the future of new generations. The Church is a sign of "unity" in a context "marked by divisions" and a bridge in interfaith dialogue. The situation has gone from euphoria for peace to resignation over permanent conflict. He appeals to Western Christians to come as pilgrims to the Holy Land.
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