Bali bombings: bishop calls for month of prayer

 In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Bali the Catholic Bishop of Denpasar, Benyamin Yosef Bria has issued a pastoral statement condemning terrorist attacks expressing sympathy with the grieving families and solidarity to all the Balinese. Last Saturday evening bomb blasts in three different restaurants killed at least 27 people and injured 120. This new act of terrorism came almost on the anniversary of the mortal attacks on 12 October 2002 which left 202 dead and at least 300 injured. The Bishop has asked for special prayers for the victims and families and the country at all Masses next Sunday. he said the Catholic community will pray that Bali may find again serenity and brotherhood and that God may free humanity from the nightmare of terrorism. The Bishop also asked Catholics in Indonesia to pray for the victims, their families and for reconciliation all through October, the month of the Rosary. He urged Catholics to add to their Rosary prayer an intention for those who lost their lives and the grieving families and also that hearts may be reconciled. Bishop Bria said people must not lose hope, all Indonesians, Christians and Muslims, must not give up efforts for dialogue and to promote reconciliation Commenting on the attack, Fr Ignazio Ismartono, who works in the sector of humanitarian aid and inter-religious dialogue on behalf of the Indonesian Catholic Bishops said: "This calls for a careful analysis to discover what is behind these attacks. The political situation in this country is extremely tense since oil prices rocketed. The bomb blasts will have a disastrous effect on tourism once again causing serious harm to the economy. In society there are various parties in conflict. We hope tension subsides and that peace will prevail. As religious leaders the Bishops condemn terrorism reaffirming their commitment to promoting brotherhood between cultures and religions". These latest attacks in Bali have put the spotlight once again on the Jemaah Islamiyah group said to have organised attacks in other south east Asian countries. Hasym Muzadi, leader of Nadhlatul Ulama Muslim organisation with more than 30 million members, has strongly condemned terrorism recalling that "radical groups in Indonesia. are very small. Moderate Muslims are the majority in Indonesia and the must help fight fundamentalists". Musadi said Islamic extremism "is not Indonesian it comes from the Middle East". Musadi said he is ready to engage in talks with radical Islam and to sustain reasons for dialogue and reconciliation. Source: Fides

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