Moluccas: New attacks on Christians

 Following a lull, there has been fresh outbreak of violent attacks on the Christian community in the Moluccas on the eve of today's visit by Mgr Renzo Fratini, the Apostolic Nuncio based in Jakarta. Over the weekend missionaries reported a number of incidents in which at least one person was killed and several injured by Muslim groups. Fr Agus Ulahaiyanan, Sacred Heart missionary and chair of the Crisis Centre of the Catholic diocese of Ambon said: "On Saturday, 18 November, at 1.00 pm, a speedboat, owned by somebody from the island of Saparua left Ambon bound for Saparua. But the boat never arrived. The 13 passengers and three crew members on board disappeared with the boat." The Muslims accused the Christians of murdering those on board and demanded that the authorities launch an immediate investigation. More than 300 Muslims demonstrated in front of the office of the governor of Ambon, protesting and throwing stones on Monday. That day, according to press reports, dozens of Muslim fighters attacked a boat off the Island of Haruku, east of Ambon, injuring at least four Christians, and Jihad fighters launched several attacks against boats carrying hundreds of Christian from Galala district to Gudang Arang in Ambon. The Christians were travelling by sea to avoid passing through Muslim suburbs. Fr Agus said one Christian was killed and more than 10 were injured in the clashes. He reported that shooting has been heard in the town.

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