Muslims drop lawsuit to stop building of Marian shrine in Indonesia

Local Catholics are glad that a group of Muslims have decided to drop a lawsuit that sought to stop the building of a Marian shrine in Indonesia’s Yogyakarta province.

In a surprise move, the 39 Islamic extremists who opposed the construction of a replica of the Lourdes grotto in the Yogyakarta province have withdrawn their complaint.

The Muslim group had sought legal means to stop the building of the shrine because it was built in an area prone to natural disasters and was also seen as a way to spread Christianity.

In mid-July fundamentalists had requested the revocation of the building permit granted by the authorities in February.

The Catholics says that the decision to drop the charges was made “to avoid the climate of tension that has been created between those for and against.”

“We see the move is part of an effort to maintain the religious harmony,” Agnes Dwi Rujiastuti, spokeswoman of an advocacy team for the Marian shrine, told on Aug. 8.

“We tried to find a solution outside of the trial process,” said Dwi Rujiastuti, which she said was fruitful.

“We realised that the issue wasn’t about a conflict between local Muslims and Catholics. It was about the existence of intolerant groups. We agreed that intolerance is our enemy,” she added, recalling that a number of Muslim hardliners from other regions always attended the court hearings related to the shrine.

Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

Catholics number seven millions or about 3 per cent.

In Jakarta, they are about 3.6 per cent. They play an active role in society, the country’s development, and emergency situations.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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