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Jakarta Post

Vandalized chapel poses challenge for majority: NGO

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, March 9, 2018   /   10:07 pm
Vandalized chapel poses challenge for majority: NGO Benches and a statue of Jesus Christ are seen piled up at the vandalized St. Zakharia Catholic Chapel in Rantau Alay, Ogan Ilir, South Sumatra on Thursday morning. (

Hendardi, the chairman of the SETARA Institute, an NGO focused on advocacy and research on democracy and human rights, has condemned an attack on St. Zakharia Catholic Chapel in Ogan Ilir, East Palembang, South Sumatra.

“This is a real attack on Indonesia's diversity,” he said in a press release made available to The Jakarta Post on Friday.

Hendardi said the attack posed a challenge for members of the majority to ensure harmony in society.

“The latest demographic data indicates that residents in Ogan Ilir regency are 99.6 percent Muslim. This is a test for the Muslim majority to respond to intolerance, discrimination, persecution and violence against a minority,” he said.

Hendardi called for residents of Ogan Ilir to work together to make social healing possible.

“The state apparatus will work on the case, yes. But members of society should also be involved in building social resilience, so that such barbaric attacks that wound our diversity won’t happen again,” he said.

The newly renovated St. Zakharia Catholic Chapel in Rantau Alay, Ogan Ilir, South Sumatra, was vandalized by an unidentified group on Thursday morning.

The chapel, which belongs to the Seberang Ulu parish, is located in Mekar Sari hamlet.

Eyewitnesses said the attackers damaged the chapel’s walls, benches and statues. They also attempted to set it on fire.  (gis)

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