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Yogyakarta, to cries of “Allah is great” unknown assailants attack Sacred Heart parish

ICC Note:

Indonesia’s religious tolerance for decades has been gradually replaced by its rising anti-Christian violence. The article reports an attack on a Catholic church by three groups of unidentified persons during mass on the past Sunday morning, coinciding with the start of Ramadan in Indonesia.

06/30/2014 Indonesia (AsiaNews) – Another Catholic community is now under attack in Indonesia in a climate of increasing cases of violence and abuse against religious minorities.

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.

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