Indonesia: Two Churches Burned Down by Muslim Extremists

Source: FSSPX News

Two churches were burned down and a third one pillaged by Muslims on February 8th, during confrontations with police in downtown Java.

The rioters demanded capital punishment for a Christian judged guilty for blasphemy against Islam, the police indicated to the AFP. According to the demonstrators, the man should have sentenced to death or handed over to the mob, but he was merely sentenced to 5 years in jail.

Father Benny Susetyo, Executive Secretary of the Commission for Interreligious Dialogue of the Conference of Bishops of Indonesia, considers that these incidents were above all the doing of “Christian fundamentalist preachers, extremists, Protestants, of the Evangelical or Pentecostal denominations, whose preaching is often improvised, and who have no respect for other religions. Their preaching and their language are typical of their sects: islam is evil, convert or you will go to hell.”

According to statements publicized by the press agency Fides on February 9th, Father Susetyo believes that these Protestant sects do not hesitate to distribute leaflets that are “offensive towards Islam.” He acknowledges, however, that there are also “Muslim extremist groups following the wahhabite ideology who constitute the other side of the problem. In both cases they are just small groups but when fanatics confront each other, all of society and all believers pay the price,” thus complaining that it is very difficult to begin constructive dialogue because they are “uncontrollable and refuse to participate in the large official interreligious dialogue sessions” such as the one in February, on the occasion of the “Week for Harmony between Religions.”