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Leaders offer support to besieged Christians

ICC Note: Indonesian Christian leaders visit Bekasi church

By Konradus Epa

8/11/10 Indonesia (UCAN) – Religious leaders have visited the Batak Society Christian Church (HKBP) in Bekasi, West Java, to offer their moral support after dozens of church members, mostly women, were injured in an attack by radical Muslims.

The members were holding an Aug. 8 Sunday morning service when the assault took place. The group overcame security personnel and attacked the congregation, although none of the injuries were described as serious.

The church is a member of the HKBP association of Protestant ministries in Indonesia.

This was the fifth attack on its members in recent months. The radicals say they have singled it out because the building does not have a permit for religious gatherings.

“We visited them to give them our support and strengthen their faith,” said Sacred Heart Bishop Petrus Canisius Mandagi of Amboina, head of the Indonesian bishops’ Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.

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