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INDONESIA: APPARITION OF JESUS CHRIST

A family home in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta received unusual attention by Christian visitors when an apparition of Jesus Christ was said to have recently appeared on its walls.

Hundreds of people queued daily to glimpse the wall where the image is said to have appeared.

Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim nation and Christians make up less than 10 percent of the country’s 203 (m) million people.

The apparition comes at a time when many Christians in parts of the archipelago continue to suffer under sectarian violence.

This unassuming house in Jakarta’s Kramat district was subject to unusual attention.

Word had quickly gotten ’round that an apparition of Jesus Christ had appeared on one of its walls.

Within a couple of days, hundreds came in the hope of glimpsing the alleged image of the Christian saviour.

For a while, visitors were allowed in to see the image for themselves.

But the attention has taken its toll on the family who owns the house.

The sign outside the door claims the image has stopped reappearing.

Yet many visitors still remain outside, gazing at the closed window which leads to the room where the apparition allegedly appeared.

For many Christians in Indonesia, the past year has been riddled with violence, coming under attack from rising Muslim vigilantes bent on a holy war, or jihad.

On Christmas Eve, bomb blasts that ripped through churches in nine cities killed at least 15 people and injured scores of others.

Most of the sectarian bloodshed has been in the eastern Moluccan islands where approximately 5-thousand people of both faiths have been killed during the past two years.

Muslim vigilante groups also have attacked nightclubs in Jakarta recently.

As a minority in the world’s most populous Muslim nation, talk of Christian miracles are extremely rare.

SOUNDBITE: (Indonesian)
“There is a calendar at the door. And at that calendar there was an image. I saw in the light of the sun, Jesus’ face and he is wearing red clothes.”
SUPER CAPTION: Benyamin, Neighbour and the first witness to the apparition

SOUNDBITE: (Indonesian)
” I am so happy for us because Jesus has made an appearance. Because at this very moment we have been so oppressed by the people who deny him. Jesus usually shows himself to those who doesn’t believe him”
SUPER CAPTION: Siti Purnama Imelda, Housewife

Though its clear that such an appearance has given hope to some, but for others, like Ajum, a Muslim and owner of the house, the attention was overwhelming.

He painted over the wall in the hope that the apparition would never reappear.

Ajum’s wife — a Christian — said the image still reappears.

Meanwhile, the crowd of hopefuls remain outside the Ajum’s home, which lies between a small Protestant church and a mosque.

They maintain a vigil, and hope in vain to steal a glimpse of Jesus.

What remains of the image so far is captured on this photo.

Though some remained skeptical of the apparition, Joseph Patiasina, an official with the Indonesian Communion of Churches, the country’s main Christian group, said he believed the image was that of Jesus.

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