Indonesian bishop distances Church from separatists
People arrested for celebrating a separatist movement's anniversary in the troubled Maluku region acted on their own and were not supported by the Church, according to the local bishop.
Earlier this month, Bishop Petrus Canisius Mandagi of Amboina had asked people not to raise the South Maluku Republic flag during the separatist movement's 53rd anniversary on Friday.
On Friday, more than 300 people were arrested for hoisting the banned flag and holding commemorative gatherings, the Catholic-run daily Kompas reported on Monday.
The region has been torn by interreligious violence for several years. Because the separatist movement is often seen to be supported by Christian Churches, Bishop Mandagi felt it was important to stress that he has never given the movement any form of support.
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Maluku News Portal
Maluku 2000 | The situation in Ambon / Moluccas Report No. 365 - C.J.Böhm msc, Crisis Centre Diocese of Amboina
30 Apr 2003