Jakarta (Agenzia Fides) - Christian churches and civil society groups are united and will work together in the new year to combat hatred and violence in Indonesia. This is what is said in the aftermath of the Christmas holidays, recalling the massacre that took place on November 27 in central Sulawesi, where a Christian family was murdered by jihadist militants. In the district, despite the presence of the army and police, the fear among the population remains and the local population wants to remember the massacre so that inhumane acts of this kind do not happen again.
"The United Women's Movement in Central Sulawesi has organized an interreligious prayer to say No to violence and together promote a culture of tolerance", Selfina, activist of the movement that unites women of all ethnic groups and religions, told Fides. "We strongly condemn any terrorist violence intended to disrupt our unity, and we wish to live peacefully in a pluralist society", she added. Women from all walks of life and from different faiths expressed solidarity with the families concerned and want to pray for peace in the new year 2021, offering their contribution to promote and build a harmonious coexistence. "We want to tell people that our unity and brotherhood are stronger than hatred or intolerance. We really want to tell people that this incident will not destroy our society as Indonesians", emphasizes Selfina.
Father Sigit Pranoto SCJ, priest of the Community of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, engaged in Islamic studies at the Government University of Islam in Yogyakarta, told Fides: "Let us remember together, Christians and Muslims, that killing is contrary to human and religious values. Everyone has the same right to life and only God has the right to dispose of human life. The incident in Sulawesi was a terrible violation of human dignity that cannot be justified. We hope that in the new year all Indonesian citizens will mobilize and work together to defeat terrorism and build a culture of encounter. As Pope Francis says in the encyclical 'Fratelli Tutti', we are all called to contribute to building fraternity". According to Fr. Pranoto,"the government, Churches and civil society must give a common signal and work together". "In particular, we trust that the government will take decisive action against the various forms of violence in order to combat groups that disturb coexistence. We all have the task of promoting an inclusive and constructive dialogue at the grassroots level in order to promote peaceful coexistence: in this way the seeds of violence will not take root in society", concludes the priest. (ES-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 8/1/2021)