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 Thousands of Banser members helping to secure Christmas celebrations

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BerichtOnderwerp: Thousands of Banser members helping to secure Christmas celebrations    di 23 dec 2014 - 23:35

The Jakarta Post, Surabaya, Tuesday December 23 2014

The Surabaya chapter of Nahdlatul Ulama’s youth wing, Barisan Ansor Serbaguna (Banser NU), says it will help the National Police to secure Christmas celebrations, partly to maintain harmony among religious communities in the province.

“Religious pluralism is a non-negotiable matter; therefore, we will help provide security for Christians who carry out Christmas religious ceremonies. We also urge NU followers to respect the Christmas religious ceremonies being held,” Ansor Surabaya chairman Muhammad Asrori Muslich told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

He said in this year’s Christmas celebrations, Banser NU would deploy 1,250 personnel who had various skills useful to help police personnel in securing churches and other public facilities in Surabaya. The number of Banser personnel deployed was higher than in 2013, when the numbers only reached 600.

“They will be deployed to all churches, both big churches and the small ones in kampong, in Surabaya. Every church will be safeguarded by 10 Banser personnel,” said Asrori.

Separately, East Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Anas Yusuf said the police had urged all parties, especially Muslim people, to play a greater role to create a stable security situation.

“We have urged that there should be no entity using religious claims to carry out sweepings of Muslim people who wish to convey Christmas greetings to Christians,” he said.

Anas said that to anticipate threats of the Jama’ah Ansharus Syari’ah (JAS), which spreads anti-Christmas-greeting leaflets during Christmas celebrations, the police had readied 9,904 joint personnel to secure Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations.

“The thousands of personnel will carry out security measures focused on churches and several other vital objects throughout the next 10 days in an operation codenamed the 2014 Operasi Lilin Semeru (Operation Semeru Candle). The operation is aimed at anticipating security and public order disruptions during Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations,” said Anas.

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