BEKASI, Indonesia – Indonesia's president ordered police to arrest the assailants who stabbed a Christian worshipper in the stomach and beat a minister in the head with a wooden plank as they headed to prayers.
Neither of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening.
Indonesia, a secular country of 237 million people, has more Muslims than any other in the world. Though it has a long history of religious tolerance, a small extremist fringe has become more vocal — and violent — in recent years.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who relies heavily on Islamic parties in parliament, has been widely criticized in the media for failing to crack down on hard-liners.
But he immediately called on authorities to investigate and hold accountable those responsible for Sunday's attacks.
Police have said they know who the perpetrators were, though they would not comment further. Suspicion immediately fell on Muslim hard-liners who have repeatedly warned members of the Batak Christian Protestant Church against worshipping on a field housing their recently shuttered church.
In the last few months, they have thrown shoes and water bottles at church members, interrupted sermons with chants of "Infidels!" and "Leave Now!" and dumped piles of feces on the land.
Another day, another example of tolerance.