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“Ambon: Bishop asks authorities to respect religious coexistence,” by Mathias Hariyadi, AsiaNews, September 14, 2022:
Ambon (AsiaNews) – The bishop of the diocese of Amboina has accused the local authorities of hindering and complicating peaceful coexistence between religious communities in the Moluccas.
Yesterday, in a meeting with journalists at his residence, Bishop Seno Ngutra openly criticised the head of the regency in Western Seram, a region where sectarian clashes between Muslims and Protestant Christians killed at least 5,000 people between 1999 and 2002.
General Andi Asaddudin, who governs the district, denied the Christian community access to a main road leading to Kupang, the city where the Presparani festival, a major nationally celebrated Catholic event, will be held in October.
“The district chief has prevented a peaceful situation, so we have expressed our concerns to the Moluccan governor,” explained MSgr Ngutra. “The leaders of the interfaith forum were also denied an interview with General Asaddudin,” the cleric added.
In recent days, representatives of the different religions in the district, including the bishops, have had their personal cars confiscated by the local authorities. The leaders of the forum for interreligious dialogue had already lodged complaints on the issue with the Minister of the Interior, Tito Karnavian, and President Joko Widodo….