19 February 2018

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09/09/2010 INDONESIA

Indonesian religious group against plans to "Burn the Koran"

Semarang parish organizes an evening meetings with Muslims to discuss, pray and break the fast together. Mutual appreciation and satisfaction. Burn the Koran is an "unpopular and sectarian initiative ".

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Establish a spirit of tolerance and coexistence, not with speeches but through concrete daily actions. This is what the parishioners of Sacred Heart Church in Tanah Mas', Semarang (Central Java), are attempting with Muslims, with unexpected results.

On the night of September 7 in Semarang about 75 people, Christian and Muslim, gathered in Bethsaida Church Hall to discuss "Enhancing good relations between the members of the religions, praying and breaking the fast together." The meeting was organized by Rev. Aloysius Budipurnomo, head of the inter-religious Commission of the diocese of Semarang.

Father Budipurnomo told AsiaNews that "it is urgent to" improve relations with the Muslim population, which Indonesia is in the majority. Especially because of the resentment aroused among Muslims following highly unpopular plan to burn the Koran, on 11 September.

"This - he says - shows how - Christians and Catholics – really want to improve the spirit of tolerance and friendship [with Muslims] and our serious concerns about this unpopular initiative by Christians in other states to burn the Holy Koran" .

Such an act - says the priest - not only goes against the spirit of tolerance which every religion invokes, but also poisons the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, "it is an initiative that is unpopular and sectarian and must be dennounced." "The Catholic Church is firmly opposed to this project which is a serious demonstration of disrespect towards our Muslim brothers."

Father Budipurnomo also extended the Vatican’s message for Idul Fitri celebrations to the entire Islamic community.

The initiative has been greatly appreciated by Islamic communities. Dr. Abu Hafsin, president of the Inter-Religious Forum, expressed his great appreciation and gratitude for the tolerance shown by Catholics. Tafsir, a representative the 2nd largest Muslim group in Semarang, Muhammadiyah, shared this appreciation.

Sahidin, a representative of Nahdlatul Ulama, the largest Islamic organization of Semarang Chapter, said that what has been done by Catholics in Semarang must be repeated and more forcefully stated on other occasions.

The meeting was well attended by Buddhist, Hindu, Protestant Christians, as well as students of Al Islam boarding school, all sharing the desire for mutual tolerance.

The Islamists have been able to recite evening prayer in Kurnia Function Room at the Church, shortly after having broken the fast together.

See also

11/09/2010 IRAQ
Kirkuk: "Burn the Koran" campaign strengthens friendship between Christians and Muslims
Archbishop Louis Sako’s message read in the mosques, condemning the burning of the Koran during the homily for the Eid. For Islamic leaders Pastor Jones is not Christian. Imam of Kirkuk: "Our Christian brothers are always ready to show their solidarity."

10/09/2010 INDONESIA
Jakarta calls Obama to stop the burning of the Koran
The President telephoned his U.S. counterpart to warn that the initiative threatens world peace. The United States should instead be a "bridge of communication between the West and Islam".

02/09/2010 INDONESIA
Christian and radical Muslims: dialogue, instead of burning the Koran
Protestant and Roman Catholic bishops met with leaders of a Muslim extremist group, to condemn the proposal by a U.S. church to burn the Koran on the anniversary of September 11. The common call to continue and deepen exchange and dialogue.

14/09/2010 INDIA
The fruits of "Burn the Koran": Catholic school burnt two Protestant schools targeted
The Good Shepherd School in Pulwama targeted; attack against Christ School and Christ Mohalla School in Pooch Jammu. The Catholic school had already been targeted in 2003. Kashmir Autonomist leader defends Christians, but fundamentalism is growing in the region. The founder of the Good Shepherd, Fr Jim Borst had received a deportation order. Curfew continues in the region. All flights to and from Srinagar are suspended for three days.

10/09/2010 ISLAM - PAKISTAN
“Burn a Koran” campaign suspended but not called off. Fear for the Christians of Pakistan
Pastor Terry Jones agreement with Muslim leaders to call off mosque at Ground Zero falls through. The “burn a Koran” campaign launched by the minister is currently suspended and not cancelled as it seemed at first. In Pakistan Islamic extremists threaten reprisals against Christians.

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