.- An estimated 1,500 Indonesian Muslims destroyed three churches before attacking an orphanage and hospital in Central Java on Feb. 8. The mob was protesting a court's decision not to sentence a Christian man to death for defaming Islam.
Antonius Bawengan, 58, received a five-year prison sentence – the maximum penalty allowed by law – under the “blasphemy law” that has been invoked to silence critics of Islam. However, the crowd assembled at his trial believed the sentence was too lenient, and demanded his death. They assaulted a group of police officers that reportedly numbered around 1,000 before moving against the churches.
The crowd first attacked the Catholic Church of Sts. Peter and Paul, in an assault that seriously wounded a missionary priest of the Holy Family congregation. The missionary, identified only as Fr. Saldanha, was beaten by the mob as he attempted to defend the tabernacle containing the Eucharist against desecration.
But we can't possibly suggest that the open-ended commands to commit violence against non-believers in the Qu'ran or the hate speech emanating daily from mosques all over the world have anything to do with this atrocity. After all, they're just misunderstanding their own religion, right?
Bull. Prayers will be offered for the victims of this terrible act of violence and for the conversion of those responsible.