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Poll sparks chapel burning rampage

Buildings not the focus of attack as mob protests against vote process

A chapel burns during yesterday’s rampage (photo:Tempointerkatif.com) A chapel burns during yesterday’s rampage (photo:Tempointerkatif.com)
  • Konradus Epa, Jakarta
  • Indonesia
  • April 12, 2011
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Church leaders have moved to condemn yesterday's burning of a chapel in Kuantan Singingi district, Riau province.

A chapel and several houses were razed yesterday when hundreds of people went on a rampage because they were dissatisfied with the results of a vote-counting meeting of members of the General Election Commission.

“We condemn and regret the actions, because the chapel had nothing to do with the regional election,” said Father Antonius Benny Susetyo, executive secretary of the Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference (KWI).

“We do not want innocent people to become victims,” he said. He hoped that all parties could accept any results of the regional election.

“Harmony must be upheld,” he maintained.

Father Leonardus Mali, who heads the Commission for Justice and Peace of the archdiocese of Kupang in East Nusa Tenggara, agreed. The violent actions were results of the state’s ignorance about certain groups. “Such ignorance must not exist,” he maintained.

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