» 06/30/2014, 00.00
Yogyakarta, to cries of "Allah is great" unknown assailants attack Sacred Heart parish
Three groups of unidentified persons on board motorcycles, launch attack during mass. Objects and posters damaged. Reasons for the violence unknown. Tighter controls around the place of worship. After decades of peaceful coexistence, Yogyakarta becomes center of anti-Christian violence and abuse.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Another Catholic community is now under attack in
Indonesia in a climate of increasing cases of violence and abuse against
The Parish of the Sacred Heart in Pugeran, in the South of Yogyakarta was targeted
early yesterday morning by three different groups of unknown assailants on motorcycles.
The attack took place during the first morning Mass: the authors, dressed in
black with their faces covered by masks, broke through the parish gates shouting
"Allah is great".
The incident coincides with the start of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of
fasting and prayer which officially began today in Indonesia, although it started
on June 28th in most Muslim countries.
According to reports from Fr. Priya Pr, Sacred Heart parish priest, the
unknown assailants targeted some objects and posters placed by members of the local
Catholic community, most of which are only displayed on the weekend during the celebrations.
The reasons behind the attack remain unknown; the authorities have tightened
controls around the Christian place of worship, in fear of more attacks.
Last month in Yogyakarta, Islamic
extremists attacked a group of Catholics gathered in prayer, beating up
the community leader; a week later, Pastor Niko, leader of the Protestant Christian
community, was targeted by extremists "accused" of having set up an "illegal"
house of prayer without permission.
Yoguakarta, in central Java, has always been considered the most "pluralistic"
center in the country, with dozens of universities and thousands of students
from across the province. However, after decades of peaceful coexistence, episodes
of sectarian violence have recently emerged, despite appeals for calm and peaceful
coexistence from the Sultan (and governor) Hamengku Buwono X, a prominent
figure in interreligious dialogue.
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, following a peace
agreement between the central government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM). Yet, in many other areas of the country (such as Bekasi and Bogor in West Java), a more radical and extreme vision
of Islam is spreading among ordinary Indonesians.
Certain rules such as
the infamous building permit (Izin Mendirikan Bangunan or IMB in Indonesian)
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.The constitution provides for freedom of religion, however, the Catholic
community (3% of the population) is victim of incidents of violence and abuse.
Central Java, Islamic extremists against celebrations for Fr. Utomo's 50th anniversary of priesthood
The Church celebrates the jubilee of Fr. Gregorius Utomo, valued contributor to the Indonesian Bishops' Conference. The community organized a series of events and a solemn celebration of the Eucharist, which the Islamists oppose. Archbishop of Semarang tells AsiaNews: "false accusations against him artfully made up by the media and newspapers."
Indonesian Priest: Pancasila, a guarantee of religious freedom, against fundamentalism
The five pillars of the state, that led to the creation of Indonesia, are back on the political agenda. The institutional leaders promote them to counter the fundamentalist drift in the archipelago. Starting next year, it will be included on school curricula. Recruitment of adherents to the fundamentalist cause continues, through brainwashing.
Bekasi, insults and threats from Islamic extremists at a Protestant prayer meeting
More than 500 blocked the entrance to the field where the function was being held. The Huria Protestant Church celebrates in the open because their prayer hall was declared illegal. Thanks to the police, there were no consequences for the faithful.
Central Java: Islamic extremists attack sanctuary of the Virgin Mary, repelled by police
For safety reasons, authorities suspend a function in program for yesterday. However, the place of worship, highly popular among faithful and pilgrims, will remain open. Attackers claim building does not have proper permit. The Archbishop of Semarang calls for calm: do not respond to provocation.
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.
Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan
During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.
May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium
The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.
18/05/2017 ASIA - VATICAN
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.