Desecrations of Cross Grave Markers Happen Again in Indonesia

01/04/2019 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – Indonesian police in Magelang (Central Java) have opened an investigation after 11 Christian tombs in a public cemetery in Giriloyo, used by Catholics and Protestants were desecrated near the end of 2018.

Gatekeeper at the burial ground noticed the destruction of wooden and stone crosses on the graves – the wooden crosses were pulled out from the burial stone, and the stone cross was smashed with a hammer – and made complaint to the police.

Local police launched an investigation as a result, but according to Police Captain Choirul Anwar, there is no information on possible motives and as to whom might be behind the malicious act.

Similarly, seven Christian graves at two public cemeteries in South Magelang sub-district were also desecrated.

These desecrations occurred just two weeks after a Muslim group mutilated the upper part of a burial cross for a dead Catholic before he could be buried in a public cemetery in Yogyakarta province.

According to Asia News, some observers believe that the latest vandalism in Magelang is a diversionary act ahead of next April’s presidential election. The aim is to divide Indonesian Christians (10 per cent of the population) and incumbent President Joko Widodo, who is running for re-election against Islamist political parties who have accused him of not being a “good Muslim”, of favoring foreign interests and of being a closet supporter of the banned Communist Party of Indonesia.

For interviews with Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

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