A Jesuit who is known nationally for his work in the field of social action has received a death threat from Muslim militants, who say he is linked to sectarian clashes in Maluku province in eastern Indonesia.
    Fr Ignatius Sandyawan Sumardi, director of the Jesuit-run Jakarta Social Institute, apparently shrugged off a death threat received in a fax message signed by two Muslim leaders.
    A member of his staff told UCA News that the Institute had tried to contact a Muslim religious leader for explanation.
    The faxed message said that sectarian clashes in Maluku are part of a plot to wipe out Muslims. Violence has been exploited politically to corner Muslims in the international community and to instigate conflict among Muslims, the military and police, they added.
    The message said that if rumored large-scale riots took place, Fr Sumardi would be deemed responsible. They urged him to offer a solution that would prevent the riots.
    Fr Sumardi received death threats three years ago after sheltering three pro-democracy students hunted down by security officers. The Jesuit priest also received death threats for his active involvement in investigating the May 1998 riots in Jakarta.
    UCAN 12:17pm 23/9/99

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