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Indonesia: 700 churches attacked in past decade

Catholic World News - October 26, 2010

Some 700 Catholic and Protestant churches have been attacked in Indonesia over the past decade, according to the Indonesian Christian Communication Forum. Between October 12 and October 17, a Catholic parish was attacked, another was threatened with attack, and a Protestant church was burned down.

“The violence and attacks, against Christian churches of all denominations, has grown in recent years and now in the past several days,” said Bishop Johannes Pujasumarta of Bandung, secretary general of the Indonesian bishops’ conference. “Those responsible are small radical Islamic groups that are sowing panic among our people, especially in the Dioceses of Jakarta, Bandung, and Bogor. They are minority groups, but they should be stopped. The violence also increases the indifference of the civil authorities and police, who shrug off the violence. We demand more attention and protection for the Christian communities and that such acts may not remain unpunished.”

3% of the nation’s 224.9 million people are Catholic, according to Vatican statistics; 6% are Protestant and 86% are Muslim, making Indonesia the country with the largest Muslim population.

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