ASIA/INDONESIA - Christian organisations reject wrong accusations that humanitarian mission aimed to Christianise: interfaith press statement on humanitarian work in Aceh

Saturday, 29 January 2005

Jakarta (Fides Service) - At a joint press conference in Jakarta Muslim and Christian leaders issued a statement concerning destructive issues emerging around the tragedy in Aceh caused by the 26 December tsunami and news reported in American and Indonesian press. The statement said that Christian communities in Indonesia reject all efforts to wrongfully use humanitarian mission as a way of Christianising people. This is in direct opposition to the spirit and teachings of true Christianity.
The leaders appealed to international Christian communities wishing to help children affected by the tsunami in Aceh and North Sumatra to work in collaboration with the Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhannadiyah as well as other Islamic organisations as agreed by Christian Bishops and Muslim leaders with regard to the handling of the future of children who suffered from the tsunami.
The leaders welcomed Indonesian government efforts to prevent affected children from being taking away from Aceh for treatment and asked people not to be caught up by rumours which have no basis.
“We hope that all polemics that are unproductive to humanitarian work in Aceh and North Sumatra be swiftly ended. Now is the time for us to work together to overcome this national disaster. May God, Creator and Guardian of life bless our efforts”.
The statement was signed by 7 religious representatives, Muslims and Christians including Rev. Benny Susetyo Secretary of the Interreligious Dialogue Commission of the Indonesian Catholic Bishops’ Conference for the local Catholic Church.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 29/1/2005 righe 30 parole 334)