Violence dominates Easter reflections
Archbishop laments recent incidents
The archbishop of Semarang has addressed the suffering of Christians, particularly those whose churches were demolished or banned, in his Easter reflection this year.
“In our times, violent incidents happen easily,” Archbishop Johannes Maria Trilaksyanta Pujasumarta wrote.
He also addressed last week’s killing of four inmates, allegedly orchestrated by the military, in Yogyakarta’s Cebongan prison, which is under the jurisdiction of Semarang archdiocese.
On Saturday, 17 masked gunmen reportedly broke into the jail and killed four people who were suspects in the murder of a special forces soldier.
“Violence is not the solution to problems,” as it creates chaos and becomes a spiral, the archbishop said.
Catholics and Protestants have been offering counseling to witnesses of the killings, including other detainees and guards.
“I’m also very concerned about violence against Christians,” the Catholic leader wrote. “Violence is used to deal with issues of the construction of Christian worship places and schools.”
On March 21, a Batak Protestant Church in Bekasi district, West Java, was demolished by local authorities, saying its application for building permit was invalid.
“What concerns me more is that perpetrators are local people. They are even backed by certain parties that should protect this country,” Archbishop Pujasumarta said.
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