Press Release: Date: 10.02.2011
According to different reports in the Media, Mobs destroyed three churches in Temanggung, Central Java, on Tuesday in violence that broke out following a blasphemy hearing against defendant Antonius Richmond Bawengan.
The angry crowd set the Bethel Church and Pantekosta Church on fire, and threw stones at Santo the Petrus and Paulus Church. They were demanding the court the death penalty of Antonius on the blasphemy charges.
The CN CathNews, on these violent attacks states:
The view is shared by Fr Ignazio Ismartono, a Jesuit, for years in charge of interreligious dialogue in the Episcopal Conference.
“The violence which has occurred in recent days against the Ahmadis, and now this anti-Christian violence: the rise of intolerance – in a context such as Indonesia, marked by peaceful co-existence – suggests that there are dark forces who want to fuel tensions in society,” Fr Ismartone said. “The violence in Temanggung was in preparation for days, but the police did nothing to prevent public disorder.”
Fides cites sources in the local Church as saying that more than 1,500 demonstrators, including militants from the Islamic Defenders Front – staged protests, shouting, “Death, death!”.
They burnt two Protestant churches (Bethel Church and Pantekosta Church) and attacked the Catholic Church of Sts Peter and Paul. More than 1,000 police officers intervened to quell the protests and, after clashes between officers and demonstrators, the situation normalised throughout the day. [http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=24997]
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat condemns the attacks in strongest terms and calls on the Indonesian Government to fulfill its mandate to protect all of its citizens, regardless of religion, and also to ensure the security of all the places of worship of all the religions.
The Ahmadiyya also calls upon the importance of tolerance, harmony and respected towards the people of all the faiths. Mutual respect and understanding should be established to create lasting peace in the societies. The religion is a personal matter of every individual, so no one should be forced in the matters of religion, and every place of worship, irrespective the denomination it belongs to is holy and deserves great respect.
The Ahmadiyya Community believes that, all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reasons and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.