» 06/02/2014, 00.00
Yogyakarta, another attack on Sleman’s Christains
A group of Islamic fundamentalists attacked aProtestant community’s prayer hall, accusing the pastor of wanting to transform it into an illegal Church. It is the same area where the assault against the Catholic Parish of Banteng. The police, present during the raid, did not intervene.
Jakarta (AsiaNews ) - There has been yet another Islamic extremist attack on
Christians in the district of Sleman. A group of fundamentalists attacked a Protestant
community gathered in prayer in a private home this morning with stones and
other sharp objects, in front of dozens of police officers who did not
intervene. The extremists have accused the pastor of "wanting to use the
house" to transform it into a church illegal. The Pastor's home - next to
the prayer hall - was also damaged.
Fortunately there were no casualties or injuries: the attackers disappeared
at noon, when the call to Islamic prayer echoed throughout the area. Now the
authorities say they "have opened investigations on the incident", but have
provided no other details .
The attack took place in the same area as a previous Islamic
fundamentalist attack against faithful of the Holy Family parish of Banteng on May
29. The Catholics had gathered around 9 in the evening to pray the
rosary in the private home of a parishioner named Felicianus when they were
assaulted by a group of 10 people. The
mob even returned for a second assault to attack the owner.
Indonesia is the most
populous Muslim nation in the world. Increasingly however, it has become the
scene of attacks or episodes of intolerance against minorities, whether they
are Christians, Ahmadi Muslims or belong to other faiths. Aceh is the
only Indonesian province where Sharia (Islamic law) is enforced, yet, in many
other areas of the country, a more radical and extreme vision of Islam is
spreading among ordinary Indonesians.
Certain rules such as the
infamous building permit have been used to prevent the construction of
Christian places of worship or stop construction already underway, as was the
case for the Yasmin Church in West Java. Catholics are a small
minority of about seven million, or 3 per cent of the population. Although the
country's constitution recognises religious freedom, Catholics have been the
victims of violence and abuse.
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