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Indonesian Catholic School Closed for Three Weeks

Muslim residents object to church services on school grounds.

by Sarah Page
DUBLIN, November 1 (Compass) — Heated disputes over a Catholic school in Tangerang, Indonesia, have yet to be fully resolved despite a meeting between government ministers and local residents on October 27. A district official had allowed Catholic residents to hold services at the school on weekends after an application was rejected for a church building permit. However on October 3, a crowd of Muslim residents attacked the school during Sunday Mass and erected a brick wall in front of the school gate. Students were kept home from school for three weeks while parents and religious leaders met with local and national authorities. Finally on October 27, a compromise was reached. The students could resume classes, using the back gate to enter the school — but the church was ordered to stop holding services on the school grounds. The Indonesian Catholic Community Forum said it would pursue the matter further, since freedom of worship was a basic constitutional right.