Indonesia Tightens Security for 2019 Christmas Celebrations

12/16/2019 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – To ensure a Christmas and New Year without accidents or terrorist attacks, authorities in Indonesia are expected to deploy 160,000 security personnel, local media reports.

According to UCA News, the number of security personnel deployed this year will be almost double that of 2018, when nearly 90,000 security personnel guarded about 50,000 churches across the country.

The chief of the National Police Traffic Corps said military personnel and “members of government agencies” will guard churches and tourism sites during Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.

Jakarta Metro Police also announced on December 13 that it will deploy 10,000 agents to ensure that Christmas and New Year celebrations go smoothly with dozens of guard posts set up around the capital.

Senior Commander Yusri Yunus noted that police will work with the Armed Forces and city authorities to improve security. A meeting will be held on 23 December to select the key points to protect.

Indonesia has seen a rise of Islam radicalism in recent years. The IS-linked local terrorist group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) has initiated suicide attacks against churches in Indonesia, with the latest being May 2018 in Surabaya, where more than 10 victims from three different churches were killed.

In response, police in the country have arrested more than 100 suspected terrorists from JAD since January 2019.

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