03/17/2012, 00.00
INDONESIA
Send to a friend

West Java: gun attack on Protestant church, attackers arrested

by Mathias Hariyadi
The two men, in their 30s, fired on the place of worship with air rifles. Police will not disclose their identity. Investigation into motive of the act. In their getaway vehicle, a luxury minivan, map of Gki Church and other "important" objectives in the country found.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The two alleged perpetrators of the attack on a Protestant church in Indramayu - city of West Java, about 120 km east of Jakarta - late morning yesterday were arrested within a few hours of the attack in Bandung. So far the police have not released the identities of two men known only by their initials who are in their 30s. One of the accused, according to leaked information from the investigations, is a native of Bandung, while the place of origin of his accomplice has not yet been ascertained.

Sitompul Martin, West Java police spokesman, confirmed the arrest, adding that investigators are looking into the motive behind the attack. Local sources confirm that they saw the pair of men wandering around noon yesterday near the main building of the Protestant church Gereja Kristen Indonesia (Gki, better known as Yasmin Church), the two opened fire, apparently using air guns loaded with lead bullets.

A part of the church windows were destroyed, but the complex did not suffer other serious damage. It seems that the authors of the attack were driving a luxury VW Caravelle minivan that only wealthy people can buy.

The church of Indramayu Gki overlooks the main street of the city, connecting the capital Jakarta with all the towns on the eastern island of Java. Investigators have seized some documents from the vehicle used for the attack, which include among others a map of the place of Christian worship, and some "important" targets located in different cities on the archipelago.

In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, religious freedom is protected by the state, but there are attacks against Christian targets or violations to the free practice of religion. The most famous case in recent months regards the faithful of the Yasmin Church in Bogor, the center of a bitter feud with the local mayor who - despite a Supreme Court ruling - refuses to grant freedom of worship (cf. . AsiaNews 13/03/2012 Yasmin Church members stage peaceful protest in front of Yudhoyono's residence).

Send to a friend
Printable version
CLOSE X
See also
"We are optimistic," says Paul Bhatti as Rimsha Masih's bail hearing postponed to Friday
03/09/2012
West Java, Muslim and Christian intellectuals against mayor’s attempts to cancel Protestant church
11/11/2011
Bogor: “war” against Yasmin Church as the faithful pray in streets
04/04/2011
West Java: moderate Muslims support Yasmin Church against the fundamentalist
17/11/2011
West Java, Christians celebrate in the streets demanding freedom of religion
24/08/2010