A young Catholic nun at a convent at Jalan Pattimura near Ambon, the main city of the Indonesian province of Moluccas, was killed on 10 March by an intruder. The 33 year old Sister, a member of a community of Daughters of the Sacred Heart, was stabbed to death. When the other Sisters found her she was in a serious condition. She was rushed to hospital where she died. The Catholic community in Ambon is in mourning. Special prayers have been said in every parish. At the nun's funeral there were also prayers for world peace. According to local sources religion was not the reason for the crime. The nun's murderer, not yet identified, is thought to have been a common thief. In 1999-2002 Ambon was the scene of inter-religious clashes between resident Protestant Christians and immigrant Muslims in which as many as 15,000 people were killed. The Catholic Church acted as a mediator to promote reconciliation. Today tension between the two communities has subsided and Ambon is calm. However according to local sources there are isolated attempts by extremists to rekindle the conflict also by taking advantage of the situation of hardship and poverty. Growing poverty and the ever present threat of terrorism are two principal problems for civil and religious authorities in eastern Indonesian provinces of Sulawesi and Moluccas. Observers warn that poverty is a seedbed for terrorists. Source: Fides
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