25 September 2010

Cross-religious solidarity action for freedom of religion, worship

Jatim News - September 19, 2010

Misti P., Mojokerto (
beritajatim.com) -- Around 50 people from the alliance National Humanity and Anti-Violence Solidarity Concern (SPKKAK) will hold joint prayers in front of the Mojokerto municipal government offices on Sunday September 19.

The event, which will be accompanied with the lighting of 1 thousand candles, is an expression of solidarity over the recent stabbing of a Batak Christian Protestant Church (HKBP) elder.

Alliance spokesperson Hari Cahyono said that the action is being held as a form of solidarity and respect for religious freedom. "We will start at 7pm, with a joint prayer and speeches with a number of demands", he said.

Aside from the call to respect the freedom of religious, belief and worship in accordance with one's respective faith, they will also be demanding government programs that side with the ordinary people.

"Because government programs such as free education and healthcare are programs entrusted [for the people]. In addition to this we will also be rejecting planned increases to the basic electricity rate, LPG gas and cuts to fuel subsidies", said Cahyono.

"In addition to lighting 1 thousand candles there will also be poetry readings, speeches and [the event] will be closed with a joint prayer. In the speeches, we will be calling on the public to unite shoulder to shoulder to fight for democracy", he explained.

At least 12 different cross-religious organisations make up the alliance including the Mojokerto Local Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGIS), the Indonesian Cultural Board  (MBI), Santo Yusuf Catholic Church (GKSY), the Indonesian Labour Movement Union-Indonesian National Front for Labour Struggle (FNPBI-PPBI), the Indonesian Cultural Society Union (Sebumi), the Indonesian Muslim Youth Local Branch Office (PC-PMI), the Working People's Association (HRP), the Mojokerto Christian Youth (Mudiska), the Mojokerto city Nahdlatul Ulama Branch Office (PC-NU), Mojokerto Social Concern (MMP), the Political Union of the Poor (PPRM) and Free Women (Perempuan Mahardika). [tin/but]


1000 candles for HKBP tragedy in Bekasi

Tempo Interactive - September 19, 2010

Mojokerto, East Java -- Scores of young people from a variety of organisations held a peaceful action on Jl. Gajah Mada, directly in front of the Mojokerto municipal government office complex in East Java on Sunday evening September 19.

The action involved the lighting of 1 thousand candles, accompanied by prayers, which were then followed by speeches from the representatives of the respective organisations. The protesters called for an investigation into the stabbing of a church elder and the attack on a Batak Christian Protestant Church (HKBP) congregation in Bekasi last week.

"The government must fully investigate the case. If it is not prepared to then the government is anti-democratic", said action coordinator Toyik.

The one hour action, which began at 7pm, was joined by representatives from the Indonesian Islamic Students Movement (PMII), Indonesian Christian Youths (Mudki), labour organisations, the Islamic mass organisation Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), church groups, reverends and Muslim preachers.

Following the action, Simon Filantropha from the East Java Regional Communion of Churches (PGW) advisory board stated his concern over the case. Filantropha believes the incident is criminal case that requires firm legal action. The government he said, must protect the right to worship for all religious communities and act against those who perpetrate violence. "The perpetrators of the violence must be punished," he said.

The peaceful action was marred by a minor incident when police interrupted a speech by one of the participants because it was deemed not to be in accordance with the local district police permit. According to the permit, the peaceful action would be held with the lighting of 1 thousand candles with the aim being an action in solidarity with a recent attack on the HKBP congregation.

"But in fact there was a speech that veered off [this theme], and was not in accordance with the permit", said one police officer. During the speech, the speaker accused the administration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Boediono of being anti-democratic and against the poor.

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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