Moluccans Hear Multi-faith Plea for Peace

AMBON, Indonesia, SEPT. 12, 2002 ( Catholic, Protestant and Muslim women in the Molucca Islands appealed to the population not to allow themselves to be manipulated by criminal elements.

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The appeal was published Friday through the Misna missionary agency, following the outbreak of violence last week which left three women dead.

The Moluccas, located about 2,300 kilometers (1,400 miles) east of Jakarta, has endured clashes between Christians and Muslims since early 1999. Thousands have died.

The Concerned Women’s Organization (GPP), which includes some Catholic women religious, lamented that most “of the victims of bomb blasts, gunfire, exploding land mines and lynching are women and children.”

GPP said that the army and police enough power to address the problems. “Let not the trust of the people … be shaken by the perverseness of a bunch of criminals that butcher people,” the group said.

Lastly, the GPP urges all Molucca inhabitants, both Christians and Muslims, not to be “used by anyone to commit crimes toward your fellow human beings, for this is not acceptable before God.”

A peace agreement was signed last February in Malino, but the situation is still precarious.

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