» 08/05/2011, 00.00
Sumatra: Ramadan begins with the burning of two Protestant churches
A crowd of at least 100 people attacked and torched a prayer centre of the Christian Batak Synod (Hkbp). They had previously attacked another Christian church five miles away. The violence took place on the first day of the holy month of fasting and prayer for Muslims.
Christians in Bekasi forced to celebrate in the open air under police protection
Islamic extremists have targeted the HKBP community for years. Christians have been denied the right to build their own places of worship, have seen facilities used for services shut down, and have had to endure insults and threats during open-air celebrations. “I will never give up seeking justice,” Rev Luspida Simanjutak says. “Law enforcement performance has been very poor. Security officials have been hopeless and silent on this crucial matter, “NGO laments.
Bekasi Christians not intimidated by pressures from Islamic extremists
For months, hundreds of radical Muslims have threatened Christians and interrupted the functions of the Batak Protestant Church (HKBP). Rev Luspida Simanjutak, the community’s pastor, tells AsiaNews that she is not afraid of the extremists, and that she will continue to defend freedom of religion.
Jakarta, Bekasi Protestant Christians sit in outside Presidential Palace
Members of the Batak Protestant Church (Hkbp) seek justice outside the residence of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. For years the Hkbp has been targeted by Islamic extremists, who prevent their worship.
Indonesians celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Batak Protestant Church
Delegations representing moderate Muslim groups take part in the celebrations, which began last Sunday in great pomp in Jakarta’s main stadium in the presence of 100,000 people, including Indonesian President Yudhoyono. More events are scheduled for the coming weeks in various cities.
Bekasi, assault on a Protestant church: mild sentences for Islamic leaders
The head of the Islamic Defenders Front, the main defendant, received a sentence of 5 months and 15 days. Six and seven months in jail for two other accomplices. In the attack, which occurred last September, a Protestant pastor was seriously injured. The Christian community’s lawyer assesses the appeal.
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