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All Was Calm, All Was Bright in Bali

Police and Community Volunteers Join Forces to Keep the Peace over Christmas Holiday.

(12/27/2008) Balinese Christmas A massive police and security presence over the Christmas period ensured the peace for Christian worshippers and other visitors to Bali. Thousands of worshippers who crowded to Denpasar's Cathedral on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day suffered some delays as security personnel used metal detectors and other equipment to screen all those entering the church. Parking lots, basement areas and church yards at Christian churches across the Island were converted to accommodate the huge number of devotees seeking to attend religious services.

According to beritabali.com 1,500 police personnel were deployed to area churches, including personnel sent in the days leading up to Christmas to sterilize and sweep the venues beforehand. According to police, the high security alert will remain in place at most churches until January 5, 2009.

Assisting the police in keeping the peace at local churches were traditionally dressed security volunteers from Bali's Hindu communities, locally known as pacalang.