The attack destroyed some windows, but what is worse than this particular incident is that it may not be the last. As this report notes, the getaway vehicle yielded more information on the church and other planning documents. Like the Yasmin Church in Bogor, it has been “put on the map,” so to speak, for harassment and persecution. “West Java: gun attack on Protestant church, attackers arrested,” by Mathias Hariyadi for Asia News, March 18:
Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The two alleged perpetrators of the attack on a Protestant church in Indramayu – city of West Java, about 120 km east of Jakarta – late morning yesterday were arrested within a few hours of the attack in Bandung. So far the police have not released the identities of two men known only by their initials who are in their 30s. One of the accused, according to leaked information from the investigations, is a native of Bandung, while the place of origin of his accomplice has not yet been ascertained.
Sitompul Martin, West Java police spokesman, confirmed the arrest, adding that investigators are looking into the motive behind the attack. Local sources confirm that they saw the pair of men wandering around noon yesterday near the main building of the Protestant church Gereja Kristen Indonesia (Gki, better known as Yasmin Church), the two opened fire, apparently using air guns loaded with lead bullets.
A part of the church windows were destroyed, but the complex did not suffer other serious damage. It seems that the authors of the attack were driving a luxury VW Caravelle minivan that only wealthy people can buy.
The church of Indramayu Gki overlooks the main street of the city, connecting the capital Jakarta with all the towns on the eastern island of Java. Investigators have seized some documents from the vehicle used for the attack, which include among others a map of the place of Christian worship, and some “important” targets located in different cities on the archipelago.
In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, religious freedom is protected by the state, but there are attacks against Christian targets or violations to the free practice of religion. The most famous case in recent months regards the faithful of the Yasmin Church in Bogor, the center of a bitter feud with the local mayor who – despite a Supreme Court ruling – refuses to grant freedom of worship.
There is no reliable freedom of worship because there is no reciprocal freedom of religion. While the letter of the law still says otherwise, backdoor enforcement of Sharia through the use (or disregard) of existing laws increasingly paves a one-way street for Islam.