Police have arrested three people in Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province for attacking a Protestant church.
The attackers threw stones at the church belonging to the Congregation of Christ Church in the provincial capital Samarinda on July 8, smashing its windows, according to police. The three were arrested soon after the early-morning attack after police examined the church’s CCTV footage.
Samarinda’s police chief, Inspector Creato Sonitehe Gulo, told reporters that the attackers were vendors based in front of the church.
They were angry at not being able to tap into the church’s electricity supply to light their stalls after it was shut off when the church closed recently due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The attack was not motivated by religion or race, Gulo said.
Nevertheless, Reverend Gomar Gultom, chairman of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia, condemned the attack.
“We are really concerned about such a violent act against a place of worship, particularly during this pandemic. We all want a peaceful life in this difficult situation,” he told on July 9.
The Protestant pastor called on the church’s members not to retaliate.
Reverend Analita Migang, chairwoman of the East Kalimantan chapter of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia, said the church’s pastor intends to meet with the disgruntled vendors to iron out the problems.