Protestant church set on fire in Mamasa
by Mathias Hariyadi

The culprit has already been arrested. The building suffered minor damage, but residents complain of acts of intolerance against Christians and the lack of support from the authorities.


Jakarta (AsiaNews) – A Protestant church was set on fire at dawn yesterday in Mamasa, Western Sulawesi province.

No one was in the building at the time, and the arsonist has already been apprehended.

Local residents noticed the damage when they went to the building for Sunday Mass. The news first made it onto social media and was only later picked by national media.

Locals say that acts of intolerance against Christians are commonplace, but the authorities hardly ever mention them.

No one has spoken on behalf of the national government about the vandalism against the church.

“No message of support has come even from the Indonesian Commission for Human Rights or the (Protestant) Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI)[*],” a resident told AsiaNews.

The building was not seriously damaged: chairs and benches were burnt, and window panes were broken.

The culprit, a 40-year-old man, was arrested. He claims to have set fire to the church after his late father “ordered” him in a dream to burn the building.

[*] Persekutuan Gereja-Gereja di Indonesia.