Terrorist Attacks on Churches and Interreligious Coexistence

Statements by RSC Chairman Emiliano Stornelli on the tragic wave of terrorism in Indonesia as published by the news website Defense & Security:

“The rise of radicalism in the last 30 years has triggered major turmoil and violence in Indonesia, jeopardizing the peaceful coexistence between religious groups, as well as the rights and safety of minorities. By attacking churches, extremism and its terrorist manifestations have reached their peak, therefore the adoption of more effective measures to eradicate this phenomenon cannot be postponed further.

Counter-terrorism must be complemented by a substantial reform of the education system, a halt to radical propaganda and preaching, and an increased engagement to advance interreligious dialogue, especially among the youth.

This is the way forward to prevent the spread of extremism, restore a healthy socio-cultural environment, and achieve interfaith harmony. Indonesia is under the spotlight today, but a leap in the fight against extremism is necessary in neighboring Malaysia and also in some countries of the Asian Subcontinent, such as Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.”

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