Forum participants tie coconut palm leaves together in a display of unity
An Indonesian inter-religious forum has slammed the government over what it calls an absence of state security, following recent attacks against Ahmadiyah followers and churches in Java.
“Security forces were nowhere to be seen when the attacks on Ahmadiyah followers in Banten, and on the churches in Temanggung, took place,” said the “Forum of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” (unity in diversity) in a statement on February 13 at a special prayer gathering at the Bundaran Hotel Indonesia in Jakarta.
The forum comprising about 400 inter-religious leaders and activists from several university associations and NGOs met to pray for harmony and security following the attacks against Ahmadiyah followers and churches in Java.
Members lit candles and prayed for peace and security in Indonesia, before tying palm leaves together to symbolize unity.
Three Ahmadiyah sect members were brutally killed during an attack by over 1,000 orthodox Muslims on worshippers at a house in Banten on February 6. Two days later, in Temanggung, mobs ransacked three churches after a court jailed a Christian for five years for insulting Islam. The mobs had demanded the death penalty.
Forum spokesman, Hendrik Sirait, accused the government of being helpless in the face of many issues.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Boediono have failed to carry out the people’s mandate, he said.
Other participants attacked those who they say want to bring harm to Indonesia
“Some people do not like diversity because they want to harm this nation,” said Maman, a Muslim leader, adding the nation will fall into ruin if the state allows a minority to dictate to the majority.
Reverend Emy Sahertian agreed.
Such violence will only break the nation apart, she said.
“The people and the government must not allow this to happen,” she warned.
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