On Sunday morning, some unidentified men attacked a group of Christians as they headed to prayer at a field in Bekasi, West Java, fourty kilometers from Jakarta.
The attackers on motorcycles stabbed a worshiper Asia Sihombing on his stomach and pounded Reverend Luspida Simadjuntak in the face as she was about to help him.
The attackers ranaway after the Police arriived at the scene of tragedy and none of them were caught.
According to media reports, the main cause of the tragedy was a dispute between local people who were mostly Muslims, and the Christian minority who wishes to build a church in the field. In spite of continuous protests, and no permit has been issued by the local government, the Christians have been praying there for almost 20 years.
Some people assumed that the attack was carried out by Muslim hard-liners, but the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) who is known for its hard line stance has condemned the attack.
President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono (SBY) asked citizens not to be provoked by the tragedy saying that it was an ordinary criminal case and not an inter-religion case. He also instructed the Chief of National Police Gen. Bambang Danuri to investigate the case intensively and report directly to him.
I am very sad that this tragedy occurred only two days after Muslims celebrated Hari Raya Eid/ Lebaran. I hope that the Police would immediately arrest the attackers, so that they can be tried in the Court of law and be punished for their crimes.
Related media reports :
- Christian worshippers attacked in Indonesia (The Associated Press).
- Jakarta Police Chief: Attack on Church Leaders purely Criminal (The Jakarta Post)
- Ciketing Church Warned to Move (The Jakarta Globe)
- Mencari Sisi Lain Pemberitaan HKBP Bekasi (Politikana)