In the city of Kamp (province of Riau – Sumatra), more than 400 children are likely to remain without an education. City authorities want to close a Catholic school of the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. The decision was communicated to the sisters on Oct. 29, but so far no one has stated the real motives for the gesture and at any moment the building could be cleared.
The sisters have sent a petition to the governor of the province, the chief of police, the military commander. They have also written to the President and Parliament. Over 300 letters of protest were sent by parents to local authorities, who had previously supported the opening of the school.
Local sources tell AsiaNews that the measure has no legal basis and authorities can not prevent or suspend the educational activities in schools. The Indonesian constitution in fact allows civil foundations to build schools or educational institutions that help the State to promote education for the entire population.
The request for the establishment of the school was started in 2007, to meet the needs of the district population who for some time had been asking for an institute for their children’s education. In April 2009 the school was opened with the permission of the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference, the diocese and the local authorities and placed under the supervision of the Sacred Heart Children’s Foundation (Yayasab Puteri Hati Kudus – Yphk) and led by Sister Clarent.
Indonesia has an 86% of Muslim population (209 millions approx.). Among the rest there are 5.7% of Protestants, 3% Catholics and a tiny .00001 of Jewish population or 20 Jews.
During the last decade more than 700 churches were attacked in a country which want to name the late dictator Suharto “national hero”. Between 500,000 and 1 million Communists were killed, a genocide happened in East Timor (of mainly Catholics) and has been considered as the most corrupt politician in history, with an estimated 35 billions dolars stolen from state coffers.