Four arrested for attack on Catholic students praying rosary


Police in Indonesia have arrested four men for attacking Catholic students praying the rosary.

The alleged Muslim attackers and others mobbed 12 students while they were conducting a traditional house-to-house rosary service on 5 May.

For many Indonesian Catholics the month of May is special, a time to visit Marian grottos and shrines to pay their respects to the mother of Jesus.

Pray at home

The man at the head of an Islamic extremist group said Christians should gather in church.

“If you perform any praying, do it in your church as we local Muslims are used to in our mosque; not in a residential house like this” a man told witnesses.

He and his fellow attackers ordered the students to stop the prayer activity and disperse.

The man then returned with a mob who attacked the students.

Police complaint lodged

“We were at the police’s command post until 3am to demand perpetrators be held accountable for last night’s hostile deed” one of the students says.

Two female students were injured and one Muslim man was assaulted for defending the students.

The victims were saved as other Muslims extended help.

The police have now opened an investigation.

Speaking to local media, Chief Superintendent Alvino Cahyadi said police were looking into the case after a video about the incident was posted on social media.

Some female students suffered minor injuries.

Arrests made

Police in South Tangerang presented the suspects to media on Tuesday this week.

“In a series of case proceedings, we concluded that there was sufficient evidence so they were named suspects” police say.

A police statement says the suspects provoked the students and shouted at them “in a loud voice with a tone of swearing and intimidation”.

It also says others carrying knives joined in the attack.


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