Evangelical Christians attack Muslims in Papua

In Papua, 15 Christian and Muslim leaders have issued a joint apology after an attack by some evangelical Christians on Muslims celebrating Eid al-Fit.

Six houses, eleven kiosks, and a mushala (small mosque) were burned, and a man was shot dead.

“We regret the burning of mushala and the attack on Muslims in Tolikara, which caused the loss of life during the celebrations,” said the leaders in their statement.

“In regard of this event, we also push the authorities to immediately solve the problem completely and professionally by processing the actors according to the law.”

“We also ask the people not to be provoked by false issues [spread by] irresponsible people.”

A group of people believed to be members of the Evangelical Church of Indonesia (GIDI) went to Baitul Mustaqin Mosque in Tolikara when Muslims were performing an Eid prayer on Friday.

They protested the use of a loudspeaker during the prayer, stating that it was disturbing an event their church was holding at the same time.

A police spokesman had said that the incident was incited by a letter spread by local Christian leaders in Papua’s Tolikara Regency last week, calling on Muslims not to perform the Eid el- Fitr prayer near where Christians were to attend a seminar.

On Wednesday police reported they were set to charge several suspects.

National Police chief General Badrodin Haiti said that police were investigating all claims surrounding the incident, including the spreading of flyers purportedly from the GIDI — the largest religious group in the district.

GIDI has denied distributing the flyers and instead accused police of inciting the riot by firing at some GIDI youths “peacefully protesting” the use of loudspeakers in the mass prayer.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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