The small town of Karuen in Enrekang district, South Sulawesi, has been divided this week over the apparent miracle virgin birth of a child to a 19-year-old teenager.
Family of the teenager, identified only by her initials UR, told local reporters they witnessed the miraculous moment the child was born.
“Yesterday her stomach swelled suddenly over three hours and then she gave birth,” cousin Erwin told TribunEnrekang.com on Friday, June 30.
“My uncle, who is the baby’s grandfather, said that immediately after birth the baby said ‘Assalamualaikum’ three times,” he added.
A local health team inspected the newborn and found the child to be a normal size and healthy, clarifying that there is a large difference between infants born at full-term and those born after just hours of gestation.
“The results of our team’s initial examination is generally all normal, there are no signs of premature birth in the baby. Our prediction is a normal pregnancy,” Dr. Sry Siswati said.
The family have kept both the young woman and child away from media and authorities, with at least one community leader keen to debunk the story before it gets out of hand.
Enrekang district Head Muslimin Bando on Monday, July 3, he doubted the veracity of the story.
“I have doubts, especially as since the world existed only one child has been born without a father, a baby born to Mary,” Bando said, referring to Jesus.
“The police must immediately check so to clarify the case and to prevent people becoming curious.”
“The incident has the potential to cause conflict because there are several groups of people who believe and those who do not,” local police spokesman Haris Nicholaus said, as reported by Tribunnews.
The teenager has been described as devout and a homebody by her peers.