An angry mob once again assaulted the members of the Congregation of Batak Protestant Churches (HKBP) Filadelfia on Sunday morning as the parishioners were trying to attend their house of worship – the second attack within a week.
The congregation was reportedly entering their church, located on Jejalen Raya village in Bekasi, West Java, at around 9 a.m. when a group of people suddenly began throwing objects at them.
“They threw mineral water in plastic cups, mud, rotten eggs and water from drainage ditches at us. Some of them were still harassing parishioners after the congregation had already dispersed,” HKBP Filadelfia Rev. Palti Panjaitan told The Jakarta Post.
He added that the plastic cups that were thrown by the crowd also hit Bekasi Police chief Sr. Comr. Wahyu Hadiningrat and Bekasi Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) chief Agus Rismanto, whose members were unsuccessfully trying to provide safety.
“Our lawyer [Judianto Simanjuntak] and some reporters were chased by members of the intolerant group after the group had been scattered,” he said.
A similar incident took place last Thursday during the day of the Ascension of Jesus Christ.
On Thursday a group of intolerant people threw “urine, sewage and frogs” at worshippers, all of which also hit the policemen who tried to shield the parishioners from the angry mob as they tried to reach their place of worship to conduct services. The parishioners only managed to pray for five minutes before being forced to leave.
The Bekasi regency sealed off the church site in 2010 after local residents objected to the construction of the church. The Bandung State Administrative Court ruled in favor of HKBP Filadelfia, but the administration has yet to reopen the site. (asa/swd)