Muslim Mob Burns Churches in Indonesia
A hardline Muslim mob clashed with police and burned two churches in Indonesia Tuesday to protest what they considered a too-lenient sentence given a Christian for blaspheming against Islam.
The U.S. ambassador in Jakarta expressed concern about the burnings and also deplored an earlier mob attack on a minority Muslim sect in which three people were stabbed and beaten to death.
The Christian, 58-year-old Antonius Bawengan, was given the maximum five-year sentence Tuesday on charges of distributing books and literature that allegedly spread hatred about Islam.
But a crowd estimated at more than 1,000 people attacked police with stones outside the courthouse in central Java, saying the man should have received a death penalty. The mob then set two churches on fire, burning the roofs, and damaged a third.
Creeping Sharia notes the escalating attacks in Idonesia:
More tolerance from the Religion of Peace, via Attacks on Indonesian Churches Spiked in 2010, Group Says
JAKARTA, Indonesia – Violations of Christians’ religious freedom in Indonesia jumped from 12 incidents in 2009 to 75 last year, according to a report from the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace.
Setara Institute researcher Ismail Hasani said at a press conference last week that 43 incidents involved attacks on churches and other security threats, sealing of worship venues and prohibition of activities, among other violations. Other incidents among the 75 violations included blocking churches from establishing places of worship and banning services and other religious activities.