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A Thousand Islamic Extremists Storm a Church Near Jakarta

ICC Note:

Church is destroyed. Local Catholics are afraid that more attacks could take place during the holiday season. The building was near completion and was to be used for Christmas Mass.

by Mathias Hariyadi

12/18/09 Indonesia (AsiaNews) – Last night a crowd of angry Muslims, including women and children, attacked the Church of Saint Albert, in Bekasi Regency, about 30 kilometres east of Jakarta. The situation is now under control but the local Catholic community is afraid of an escalation before Christmas.

Kurniadi is a member of the committee charged with the church’s construction. He told AsiaNews, “Suddenly, a bunch of bikers arrived in the area where the church stands.” They had banners and kerosene tanks. “We don’t know why we were attacked,” he said.

Kristina Maria Renteana, who was present when the Church was attacked, said, “The mob had about a thousand people,” not only men, but “women and children” as well.

Running around in cars and motorbikes is a tradition for Indonesian Muslims during “national celebrations.”

Last night was the first day of the Islamic New Year, the start of the month of Muharram. Local sources told AsiaNews, on condition of anonymity, that the “crowd was made of people from Tarumajaya and Babelan”, two villages in North Bekasi where Islamic extremists are a majority.

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