Islamic pressure closing churches in Indonesia
Jakarta, Dec. 20, 2007 (CWNews.com) - The Indonesian Catholic bishops have called public attention to rising Islamic pressure against Christian churches, Vatican Radio reports.
Bishop Martinus Situmorang of Padang, the president of the country's episcopal conference, is the co-author of a new report on the campaign by Muslim activists to close down Christian churches. The report shows that from 2004 through 2007, 108 churches have been closed because of Islamic pressure.
The report notes that Indonesia's constitution guarantees freedom of religion, and challenged the government to honor that promise, protecting the Christian minority from Muslim extremists.
Catholics constitute just 3% of the population in Indonesia. About 85% of the country's 220 million people are Muslims, giving Indonesia the world's largest Muslim population.
108 churches closed in Indonesia in the space of three years! Can you, gentle reader, provide me with an example of a western country that has closed 108 mosques in a similar space of time?
Thought not. This is surely illustrative of the vast gulf that exists between the standard of treatment accorded to Muslims in the west and that endured by Christians in the Mohammedan east.
The Indonesian constitution may guarantee freedom of religion, but since when have Islamists shown themselves willing to obey such things as laws and constitutions? Freedom of religion, in Indonesia as elsewhere, must be guaranteed by enforcement of the law, else it is a dead letter. But it is clear from this and from so many other news stories where the sympathies of the Indonesian government lie.