Riots broke out in a predominantly Protestant province of Indonesia last month after the country’s military burned Bibles, according to a major local church.

Evangelical Christian Church reported that the police account of a riot that happened on May 24 was not truthful, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

Police stated the citizens of Papua province rioted after the military burned garbage and then released photos of the burned material, including a picture of a burned theology book. The police said they printed a note on the released photo which reads “This is not the Bible,” according to the AP.

The church’s report states that a priest and a man from his congregation photographed bibles they found burned at a local military base and collected several to keep as evidence.

Since those reports, Teguh Pudji Rahardjo, military spokesman, confirmed that the military did in fact burn Bibles, but claims it was an accident. According to Rhardjo, the Bibles and other theological books were meant to be distributed to Christians in the province but somehow got mixed in with the garbage.

Reports of the burned Bibles spread on social media, angering locals, some of whom were members of the local Church of Zion, who then gathered outside of the military base to demand that the soldiers be handed over to them for retribution.

According to the church, the two men who found the Bibles tried to no avail to calm the crowd and convince them to disperse. The crowd instead threw rocks and blocked the streets with burning tires.

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SOURCE: Daily Caller, Joshua Gill

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