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Indonesia: Security forces demolish three churches, more churches to be demlished


Indonesian churches

Indonesian authorities demolish three churches in Aceh as per demands of Muslim radicals.

According to details, Islamic radicals had been pressurizing the Indonesian authorities to tear down churches since quite some time. The Indonesian authorities finally gave in to their demand and tore down three churches.

This move came after the Islamist radical group attacked an Indonesian Christian majority village. After this attack, hundreds of Christians fled from their homes as the Islamist group was on rampage as it burned a church.

The Indonesian security forces used sledgehammers and demolish two Protestant and one Catholic Church in the southern district of Aceh Singkil. However, the Indonesian authorities claim that seven more churches will be demolished in the coming days. This move is comes after meetings between Muslim and Christian communities discussing the issue of demolishing churches.

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This church demolishing drive comes after; a week when a mob tore down a church in the district, afterwards attacked Christians. The Christians retaliated and the clashes left one Muslim dead and four other people injured. After the incident, police and Indonesian military was deployed in the area to prevent further attacks and restore peace.

It was shortly after this attack, and unrest that the Islamist group put forward demand that the local authorities should demolish several churches. The Islamist group believes that churches were illegal. Aceh is Indonesia’s only province where Islamic law, Shariah is implemented. In recent years, more shariah regulations have been introduced, which is deemed as a targeted drive against the religious minorities in the country.

Aceh is Indonesia’s conservative province, where most of the churches will be shut down this week, after few days when a mob burned down a church, where clashes resulted in killing of one person and several others were injured.

At the same time, the Christian groups in Aceh Singkil district, where the churches are located, had been called to remark about the current situation. Members of no less than six churches as authorities say, had previously agreed to demolish these churches after it was established that they lacked the requisites of legal building permits.