Daily Mass attendance at Our Lady of Assumption Cathedral in downtown Jakarta has dropped after the recent bombing of the nation's main mosque, which located nearby.
    "With weary feeling we go on with daily activities. Daily Mass, pastoral and office activities are conducted as usual, but the number of parishioners for daily Mass is dropping," cathedral parish priest Jesuit Father Redemptus Murtrisunu told UCA News.
    The April 19 explosion in the basement of Istiqlal (independence) Mosque, the largest mosque in Southeast Asia, raised fears that vengeful Muslims might retaliate by attacking the cathedral. More than 100 security personnel were deployed around the cathedral less than an hour after the bombing.
    Ireneus Masya Taruna, head of Socio-economic Commission of Jakarta archdiocese, told UCA News that all offices inside the cathedral compound have operated as usual despite the tension after the bombing and bomb threats. Cathedral officials received bomb threats on April 20 and 21 from female and male callers, but these turned out to be hoaxes, as did a number of other threats targeting commercial buildings and hospitals.
    Yohanes Eseng, a guard at the cathedral, said that since the bombing security guards have scrutinized people entering the cathedral compound more closely. "Sometimes it is embarrassing to check identification cards of the people coming to pray in the cathedral," Eseng said.

11:18am 30/4/99 / UCA News


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