|Indonesia||EPISCOPAL VICAR WARNS CATHOLICS ON POSSIBLE MUSLIM ATTACKS|
A Church leader in Yogyakarta, Central Java, has asked Catholics to be on alert in view of the presence of Islamic paramilitary troops in the area.
Fr Ignatius Jayasewaya, Semarang archdiocesan episcopal vicar for Yogyakarta, told some 100 Catholic leaders meeting recently that Catholics should be vigilant since Yogyakarta has become the centre for Muslim paramilitary recruits from Java and surrounding areas.
About 10,000 "laskar jihad" (Islamic holy war fighters) accommodated in several places in Yogyakarta are ready for dispatch to Christian-Muslim conflict areas in Maluku and North Maluku provinces, local sources said. Police evacuated them from a training camp in Bogor in April after neighbors protested that their presence had caused unrest and disturbance.
Father Jayasewaya asked parishes to be more alert and mobilise their security guards and youths to assist the police in guarding churches against possible attacks by the Muslim fighters.
"The presence of 10,000 trained fighters is a potential threat to Christians" whom the fighters regard as "part of the enemy," he said.
He also asked Catholic schools and religious houses "to associate with neighbours and participate in neighbourhood activities, and join the existing village security guard teams."