Hidden Nook

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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Torched Church And Muslim Protection

[Media Source*]

(Christian Post) Islamic militants torched a church in the Indonesian Province of North Sulawesi, Thursday night, raising fears of more violence to come during the Christmas holidays. The recent blaze at Beth Eden Protestant Church in the city of Manado brought serious damage to a large section of the building. [...]

In the island nation's capital of Jakarta more than 640 churches have already been placed under police protection in the previous days. Nahdatul Ulama, Indonesia's [largest] Islamic organization, has also vowed to guard churches throughout the Christmas season.

Apparently the Christmas spirit (Editor's note: or the spirit of generosity for those of differing faiths) is spreading in Indonesia. Although many critics would love to paint Muslims as either practicing or non-practicing terrorists, this demonstration by the Nahdatul Ulama shows that many Muslims do not whole heartedly agree with the Islamic fundamentalists.

(Christian Post) A number of Muslim volunteers along with police have set up checkpoints near churches, searching all passers-by for dangerous materials or substances. In the province of East Java, 200 paramilitary volunteers from Muslim groups have joined police to search anyone entering church, including Catholics and Christians.

The Rev. E. M. Pattinasarane from the Inter-Churches Cooperation Forum of East Java urged churches to be responsible for their own protection, and that the police were just "additional resources."

The militants who attempted to burn down this church probably represent a minority of Muslims who harbor ill will towards other faiths, as their are plenty of others (i.e. Iraq The Model) who seem to be able to display some level of intelligence and tolerance. With the additional protection being provided by police and Muslim volunteers, hopefully these churches will be able to enjoy the holidays and celebrate the birth of Christ without fear of being attacked.

Image Credit: Indonesian police search motorists as part of a security operation in Jakarta. Islamic militants torched a church in the Indonesian Province of North Sulawesi, Thursday night, raising fears of more violence to come during the Christmas holidays. (Photo: Reuters / Crack Pallingi)

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By Darnell Clayton • 11:43 PM • Email Post • •


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