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Expression of concern on religious tension in Palu, Central Sulawesi

18 October 2006

Letter to Rev. Dr Richard Daulay, General Secretary of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia, 18 October, 2006


Dear Rev. Dr. Richard Daulay,

The World Council of Churches is deeply shocked and dismayed by the news
of the killing of Rev. Irianto Kongholi MTh, General Secretary of the Gereja
Kristen Sulawesi Tengah (GKST) on 16th October. The cowardly murder of Rev.
Kongholi in Palu, Central Sulawesi, is indicative of the communal tensions and
sectarian strife that continue to plague this region.

The Christian-Muslim tension and violence that started in 1998, having reached
its peak in early 2000, seemed to subside for a while. However, with the execution
last month of three Christians for their role in inciting inter-communal vio-
lence, the tension between the two communities has been revived. Tempers have
flared on both sides and the authorities have done little to defuse it.

The Executive Board of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (CCI) has
rightly called on the Government seriously to address the causes of tension and
conflict between the two communities. It is the responsibility of the Government
of Indonesia to take necessary steps to apprehend the culprit and ensure that justice
is done. This is the only way to restore the confidence of the Christian minority
in the law-enforcement agencies and the judicial system of the country.

The World Council of Churches supports the call of the Executive Board of the
CCI and appeals to the people of Palu, Poso and Tentena to keep calm and make
every effort to ensure harmonious relations within their society.

We request the Executive Board of CCI to communicate our heartfelt condolences
to the bereaved family.

Assuring you of our continuing prayers and support,

Yours in Christ,

William Temu
Acting General Secretary