Sihombing, an elder of Bekasi church, was stabbed

Posted by David Khoirul

Church Indonesia FPI religious toleranceReligious tolerance in Indonesia is decreasing. In Bekasi, West Java, leaders of a protestant church were attacked and a person was stabbed in the stomach, following the end of Ramadan, injuring an elder of the church.

Asia Sihombing, an elder of the Batak Christian Protestant Church (HKBP) in Pondok Timur Indah, was stabbed by unknown assailants on Sunday morning, according to police and church representatives. The Rev. Luspida Simandjuntak was beaten with a stick when she came to his aid.

Both were taken to Mitra Keluarga Hospital in East Bekasi, where Sihombing underwent surgery and is now being monitored in the intensive care unit.

The incident occurred at around 8:40 a.m. as the congregation was walking toward a vacant lot in Ciketing, Bekasi, where worshipers have held services following the June closure by local authorities of a house they used for worship, according to a church member, Risomas Sinaga. Djoko Suyanto, the coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had ordered the National Police to respond quickly to the incident.

"The perpetrators must be punished firmly, as mandated by the law," Djoko said, adding that the government would not tolerate any acts of violence in the name of religion.

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