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Religious Freedom Internationally
 
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Indonesia

Indonesia is located in Southeastern Asia between Malaysia and Australia. The western islands of Indonesia are in the Indian Ocean, and the eastern islands are situated in the Pacific Ocean. 88% of the population is Muslim, 5% is Protestant, 3% is Roman Catholic, 2% is Hindu and 1% is Buddhist.

Indonesia was occupied by the Japanese for three years, beginning in 1942. After Japan surrendered in 1945, the regime declared the country sovereign. In 1949, Indonesia achieved independence from the Netherlands after four years of negotiation, hostility and mediation. Tension currently exists between Muslims and Christians throughout the country, but is concentrated in the province of Maluku.

Religious Freedom

The Indonesian Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and clearly states that the nation is based on the belief in one God. However, restrictions exist for some religious activities and unsanctioned faiths. Jihad (holy war) against Christians is officially condemned in Maluku, though little is done to stop acts of discrimination and violence.

In order for a religious group to build a place of worship, agreement from the local community and a permit from the government must be obtained. Worship in homes is not permitted unless the community approves.

The civil registration system excludes those who are not members of one of the five official religions. This makes it difficult for religious minorities to register the marriages or births of family members. National Identity Cards are compulsory in Indonesia; however, people who do not identify with an official religion are prevented from obtaining a card. Proselytizing is illegal, as is the distribution of religious literature to persons of other faiths.

International Treaties Signed by Indonesia

The Convention on the Rights of the Child

Canada-Indonesia Diplomatic Relations

Canadian Embassy in Indonesia

Canadian representatives in Indonesia  

Indonesia’s representatives in Canada  

Prayer

For prayer requests, see the alerts, or the general page of prayer for the Persecuted Church.

Related Links

General information about Indonesia

Information about human rights in Indonesia

Information about the persecuted Church in Indonesia (from the Voice of the Martyrs Canada)


Related EFC Religious Liberty Commission Alerts

Note: Alerts are in reverse chronological order, beginning with the most recent.

Indonesia: Three Christians Men Face Imminent Execution

:: 08/10/2006
(SOURCES: Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Jubilee Campaign)

Three Catholic Christians from Indonesia are scheduled to be executed at the end of this week. Sources in Indonesia suggest that the execution is likely to take place on Friday evening (August 11). Fabianus Tibo, 60, Dominggus da Silva, 39, and Marinus Riwu, 48, were accused of being the masterminds of the sectarian violence in Central Sulawesi and for leading a violent attack against an Islamic school in 2000. All three men were sentenced to death and have had their final appeal for clemency rejected by the President. Read more ...

 


Indonesia: Violence against Christians Continues

::11/24/2005
(Sources: Compass Direct, World Evangelical Alliance RLC)

Last week we sent out an alert regarding the recent violence in Poso, Indonesia. Over the weekend there were two new attacks. The first attack took place late Friday afternoon, November 18. Two 20 year-old women, Supriyanti and Evi, and a young man, Anca, aged 23 were riding together on one motorbike when they were attacked by three men with guns and machetes also riding motorbikes. Anca escaped relatively unhurt and took both girls, who were badly injured, to two hospitals, as they were turned away at the first. Supriyanti, who had been driving, suffered a slash to her neck and died from blood loss en route to the second hospital. Evi’s arm was nearly severed, but she is recovering in hospital.

The second attack occurred on Saturday November 19, and involved a Christian couple returning home from church. Pudji Laksono (45), a university lecturer, and his wife Novlin Pallinggi (37) were driving home on their motorbike, and were followed by hooded militants also on a motorbike. Both were shot at close range and wounded. Novlin Palinggi is currently in hospital in critical condition as doctors were unable to remove the two bullets lodged in her chest. Pudji Laksono is in stable condition, recovering in hospital. While the religious affiliation of the attackers or victims of the first attack is not being publicized, the region has a history of violent tensions between Muslims and Christians. These and other attacks appear to be part of a coordinated resurgence of religiously-motivated violence. It is feared militants with links to regional terror networks are seeking to ignite a conflict that would 'legitimise' a call for jihad.

Pray:
• For those in hospital: Evi, Novlin and Pudji. Pray also for Anca who has witnessed this horrendous event and is mourning the loss of a friend. Pray that they would have a swift recovery and that they would experience the peace of God to be free of fear after their release from hospital.
• For the families of those injured and killed, that they would have grace to forgive.
• That those who committed the attacks would be brought to justice and that they would be apprehended before any more violent acts can be repeated.
• For those in both the Muslim and Christian communities in the region, that Christians would be tremendous witnesses of Christ's love and power.
• That the government of Indonesia would commit itself wholeheartedly to the defence of its Christian communities.

 


Indonesia: Brutal Attacks in Central Sulawesi Target Young Christians

::11/14/2005
(Sources: Compass Direct, Voice of the Martyrs, the Jakarta Post, BBC)

Over the past three weeks, the Poso region of Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province has been the stage for two horrific acts of religiously motivated violence, both involving attacks on teenage Christian girls. The most recent incident took place the evening of Tuesday, November 8. Two high school age girls were shot near a church. They are both recovering in hospital. In the same region on October 29th, four teenage Christian girls were attacked as they walked to school early in the morning. Three of the girls were beheaded, while a fourth escaped with machete cuts to her head and face. She is recovering in hospital under a heavy guard. The attack came just a few days before a major Muslim holiday.

Indonesian President Susilo Bombang Yudhoyano condemned the recent attacks and suggested that they may be aimed at reawakening religious conflict in the area, where sectarian fighting raged from 1998 to 2001. Since Yudhoyano dispatched security and police agents to the area, Indonesian officers have detained five people in connection with the beheadings.

Local Christian aid workers are sceptical that the murderers will be brought to justice, and remain equally sceptical that the violence will end, especially when the second attack took place despite a greatly increased security presence in the region. As incidents of violence against Christians in this area continue to increase, local Christians fear these will lead to larger-scale violence against Christians in the region. In recent years, Christians and Church leaders have suffered numerous assassinations, bombings and armed attacks, often at the hands of Islamic militants.

Pray:
• For the families of the deceased girls, for comfort and forgiveness in this time of immense trauma and grief.
• For the three girls currently in hospital as they recover both physically and emotionally. Pray for safety for them and their families.
• For the authorities leading the investigation, that they would have discernment and not be swayed by ongoing political, cultural and religious prejudices.
• That those who committed the attacks would be brought to justice and that they would be apprehended before any more violent acts can be repeated.
• For the relationship between the Christian and the Muslim residents of Poso. Pray that the Christians would be tremendous witnesses of Christ's love and power.
• That the government of Indonesia would commit itself wholeheartedly to the defence of the Christian community in Central Sulawesi.

 


Indonesia: Christian Leader Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

::6/20/03
(Compass Direct, Jubilee Campaign, Christian Solidarity Worldwide)

A Christian leader known for his peacemaking activities in the war-torn region of Central Sulawesi has been sentenced to three years in prison despite clear evidence that witnesses for the prosecution were intimidated and beaten by the police in order to obtain their testimony. On June 16 the court in Central Sulawesi, in eastern Indonesia, sentenced Rev. Rinaldy Damanik to three years imprisonment on charges of illegal weapons possession. The court claimed they could not disregard the hand-made guns allegedly confiscated by the police from Rev. Damanik.

During the bloody Muslim-Christian conflict that devastated Central Sulawesi beginning in 1998, Damanik and his GKST Refugee Crisis Centre earned a reputation for aiding victims of violence, both Christian and Muslim alike. In August 2002, Damanik and his team were evacuating Christians from a village that had recently been attacked when their vehicles were stopped by an angry Muslim mob. In an apparent attempt to placate the mob, the police who arrived made a show of searching the cars. The next day, much to everyone's surprise, the police announced that the search had netted illegal weapons.

Witnesses for the prosecution subsequently testified that police had beaten and intimidated them into giving false testimony and signing false statements to incriminate Rev. Damanik. A foremost expert on Indonesia's legal system, Professor J. E. Sahetapy, appeared as a witness for the defense and testified that after examining the evidence, he believed Damanik’s arrest was engineered by the police. He also testified that the evidence allegedly gathered during the search of Rev. Damanik's car was inadmissible in court, since the search was conducted without a warrant.

The court openly acknowledged that procedural violations had occurred during the search and seizure and that the prosecution's case was very weak, but nevertheless decided to sentence Rev. Damanik to three years in prison. Rev. Damanik and his defence team are appealing the verdict.

See previous RLC Alerts on Central Sulawesi:
Indonesia Update 11/30/01
Indonesia and the Philippines 12/06/01

Write:

  • Write to the Ambassador of Indonesia and the Indonesian Minister of Justice.
  • Send your letter to the Embassy of Indonesia to be forwarded to the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, or send one copy of your letter to the Minister of Justice in Indonesia and another copy to the Embassy of Indonesia.
  • Use the sample letter below to express your concern about the miscarriage of justice in Rev. Damanik's case.

    Ambassador of Indonesia
    His Excellency Eki Syachrdin
    55 Parkdale Avenue
    Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 1E5
    Fax: 613-232-5712
    Kbri@indonesia-ottawa.org

    Minister of Justice and Human Rights
    Dr. Yusril Ihza Mahendra
    Jalan HR Rasuna Said Kav. 4 - 5
    Jakarta Selatan

    Dear Dr. Mahendra,
    I am writing out of concern for the situation of Rev. Rinaldy Damanik. Rev. Damanik, who worked for peace in Central Sulawesi, was falsely accused of possessing illegal weapons. Witnesses for the prosecution testified that police had beaten and intimidated them in order to make them give false evidence against Rev. Damanik. Furthermore, the police search which allegedly found weapons in Rev. Damanik's car was conducted without a warrant, which should have made the evidence allegedly gathered during the search inadmissible in court. Nevertheless, the judge in this trial sentenced Rev. Damanik to three years in prison.

    I respectfully request that you undertake a review of the irregularities in Rev. Damanik's case to ensure that the law of Indonesia was followed in his trial and sentencing.

    Sincerely,
    [signed]

    Copy to: H.E. Eki Syachrdin, Ambassador of Indonesia

    Pray:
    • Pray for Rev. Damanik and his family while he is in prison. Pray for comfort and strength from the Holy Spirit, as well as wisdom and courage to declare God's truth.
    • Pray for Rev. Damanik's legal team as they prepare his appeal. According to one report, half his legal team is Muslim and all of his lawyers are committed to seeing justice upheld in the Indonesian legal system.
    • Pray for those who have lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods in the violence in Central Sulawesi during the past years. Pray that peace and truth would come to this troubled region.

     


    Five Christian Villages Destroyed in Indonesia

    ::8/16/02
    (Source: EFC Religious Liberty Commission)

    The situation in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, has worsened dramatically in the past 24 hours. Five Christian villages have been attacked and burned to the ground, and many have been forced to flee into the jungle. Sources indicate that an assault is planned against the major Christian centre of Tentena tonight or tomorrow morning.

    For more background on the growing violence in Central Sulawesi, see our previous RLC Alert:
    Pakistan and Indonesia:Urgent Prayer 9/8/02

    Pray:
    • Pray for protection for the Christians who have been displaced in the past day's fighting.
    • Pray for the battle around Tentena. Pray that the government and police forces in the region would intervene in time and would succeed in defeating the determined and well-armed jihad fighters.

     


    Indonesia: Christians Facing Violence from Muslims

    ::8/9/02
    (Source: World Evangelical Alliance, Christian Aid, International Christian Concern, Barnabas Fund)

    After nearly five months of relative calm, Christians in Indonesia are once again facing violent attacks by Muslim militias. In Central Sulawesi, a Christian village has been destroyed and guerrilla fighters are once again closing in on the major Christian centre of Tentena. The situation is described as very urgent, but the government forces in the area say that they cannot act until they receive orders from their superiors. Meanwhile, in Maluku, attacks against Christian lives and property continue despite the presence of the military. On July 27 a bomb exploded in the centre of a Christian marketplace, wounding 50 and killing one. Local Christians have refused to take revenge against their Muslim neighbours because they believe that the attack was an attempt by outside Muslim groups to re-ignite the communal conflict which has cost over 4,000 lives during the past 3 years.

    Pray:
    • Pray for the Christians in Indonesia. Pray that God would protect them from harm and comfort those who have lost friends and relatives in the violence. Pray also for revival and renewal among the Christians in Indonesia.
    • Pray for all those who have been severely wounded by bombings and violent attacks, and for those who have lost their homes and businesses.
    • Pray that the government of Indonesia would take a firm line against Islamic terrorist groups and uphold the Malino Peace Agreements signed earlier this year. Pray that the terrorist groups would be rooted out and that average Muslims would have the courage to oppose violent extremists.
    • Pray for justice in the trial of Jafar Umar Thalib, the leader of the notorious group Laskar Jihad. Thalib's trial began on August 1. Pray that Thalib would be justly punished for his role in coordinating the death of thousands.

     


    Indonesia: Celebration as Peace Agreement Between Christians and Muslims Reached

    ::3/1/02
    (Source: EFC Religious Liberty Commission, Crisis Centre Diocese of Amboina)

    This morning, thousands of residents of the conflict-scarred city of Ambon in Maluku thronged the streets in celebration of the peace settlement reached between Christians and Muslims on February 12. Religious and social leaders explained the peace agreement in detail to the Muslim and Christian communities in separate meetings this week. Yesterday, a group of Muslim and Christian youth from a nearby island travelled together to Ambon to demonstrate their reconciliation. This morning, thousands of Ambon residents spontaneously took to the streets to celebrate the end of the two-and-a-half year conflict that has claimed thousands of lives. Christians crossed over into the Muslim side of the city and Christian and Muslim youth mingled freely. While the continued presence of the Laskar Jihad in the area is a grave threat to peace, the commitment of ordinary Muslims and Christians to reconciliation is encouraging.

    Pray:
    • Praise God that Christians and Muslims in Ambon were brave enough to publicly take a stand for peace in Maluku.
    • Pray that God would protect and revive the Christian community in Maluku. Pray that God would send his Spirit of repentance and renewal. Pray that God would also give them the grace to forgive their Muslim neighbours and the Laskar Jihad.
    • Pray for the government of Indonesia. Pray that the government would remain committed to keeping peace and order in Maluku and Sulawesi.

     


    Indonesia: Major Peace Agreement Signed By Muslims and Christians

    ::2/18/02
    (Source: International Christian Concern, EFC Religious Liberty Commission, BBC)

    Praise God for bringing peace to his people! On February 12, Christians and Muslims from the conflict-ridden area of Maluku signed a major peace agreement. Thousands of people have died in religious and communal violence in Maluku since 1999. Forced conversions to Islam and the destruction of Muslim and Christian property have marked the fighting in Maluku. The Islamic militia group Laskar Jihad was first created in response to this conflict. Laskar Jihad has gone on to fight and destroy communities in other areas of Indonesia, notably Central Sulawesi. Indonesian Christian observers are cautiously optimistic about the peace agreement, which is the latest of several signed since the conflict began. Under the terms of the agreement, Laskar Jihad fighters are required to turn in their arms and the Muslim and Christian communities pledge not to engage in further violence. Observers say that this peace agreement is better than previous ones because it involved large delegations from both communities and was facilitated by high-ranking national officials.

    Nevertheless, the peace in Maluku is fragile. The community leaders who signed the peace agreement are now faced with the difficult task of gaining support for the agreement among people in Maluku. Already, at least one leader has been physically attacked for signing the treaty. The Laskar Jihad has openly denounced the peace agreement.

    Pray:
    • Pray urgently for the Christian leaders who have signed this peace agreement. Pray for their physical protection. Pray also that God would give them great wisdom as they lead the Christian community.
    • Pray for the Christians who have been affected by this conflict. Pray that God would minister to them and heal them. Pray that Jesus Christ would lead them as they begin the painful process of forgiving their enemies.
    • Pray for renewal in the Christian community. In the past, missionaries active in the area have asked us to pray for this. Pray that God would revive his people and Jesus would be the centre of their lives and worship.
    • Pray for the Muslim community and for Muslim leaders. Pray that leaders would have wisdom as they lead their community. Pray for Muslims who have been affected by this violence, that they would be able to forgive their enemies.
    • Pray for the Muslim and Christian combatants. Pray that they would repent of their violence and the death and destruction they have brought to Maluku. Pray that they would accept the peace agreement and lay down their arms.
    • Pray that the young men caught up in Laskar Jihad would repent of their violence and leave the militia, and that this organization which has caused so much suffering would be brought down completely.

     


    Churches Bombed During New Year’s Services in Indonesia

    ::1/4/02
    (Source: Compass Direct)

    The feared 'Bloody Christmas' attacks on Christian minorities in Indonesia did not take place, and little or no violence was reported against Christians during Christmas services. This was due in part to strong government protection for Christian churches on Java and elsewhere. New Year's Eve, however, saw a small resurgence of violence as terrorists bombed several churches in the capital of the troubled province of Central Sulawesi. Four churches were bombed on New Year's Eve. Although the bombs were thrown into churches that were packed with record numbers of people attending New Year's services, only four people in all were injured or killed, including two policemen who were attempting to disarm one of the bombs.

    Write:
    Write to the Indonesian Ambassador to Canada, thanking him for his government's protection of Christian minorities during the Christmas season and expressing condolences for the two policemen killed or injured on New Year's Eve while protecting Christians at the Pantekosta church in Palu.

    His Excellency Eki Syachrudin
    Ambassador of Indonesia
    Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
    55 Parkdale Avenue
    Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 1E5
    Salutation: Your Excellency
    e-mail: KBRI@indonesia-ottawa.org

    Pray:
    • Praise God for powerfully protecting his people on New Year's Eve. Thank him for strong government protection at Christmas and on New Year's Eve.
    • Pray for the families of the people who were injured or killed. Pray that God would comfort them at this time and that the church would encourage them.
    • Pray that the Indonesian government would move quickly to bring the terrorist groups responsible for the New Year's Eve attacks to justice.

     


    Peace Agreement signed between Muslims and Christians in Sulwesi

    ::12/21/01
    (Source: World Evangelical Fellowship, National Post)

    A peace agreement was signed between Muslims and Christians in Sulawesi today, bringing an end to almost three years of violence. Christians in Sulawesi were protected this month from the threat of annihilation at the hands of Islamic terrorist group Laskar Jihad by swift action on the part of the Indonesian government. The Laskar Jihad is still active in their region, however, and has repeatedly threatened to carry out their plans for a 'bloody Christmas.' Praise God for his strong protection of his people, and thank him for a peaceful Christmas. Pray for Jesus' Spirit of forgiveness to work mightily in his people and in the Sulawesi Muslims as they act together on their commitment to peace.

     


    The Indonesian government protects Christian refugees in Tentena

    ::12/6/01
    (Source: Compass Direct, Maluku Support Project, BBC)

    The Islamic militia Laskar Jihad was foiled in its attempt to attack the Christian refugees in Tentena this weekend. After a five-day campaign that saw the jihad force destroy four villages with bulldozers and other heavy vehicles, the plan was to attack Tentena on December 1. But at 4:30 p.m. on November 30, five truckloads of army troops arrived at Tentena to provide protection, and then drove to Poso to guard other villagers.

    Church leaders in Sulawesi sent an urgent appeal to the Indonesian government on November 29. At a cabinet meeting on November 30, the government gave the order to defend Tentena and troops were dispatched immediately, with a speed that one local Christian called "not far short of a miracle." Meanwhile, Indonesia's Chief Security Minister Bambang Yudhoyono has flown to Sulawesi to assess the situation. Christian leaders, fearing for their safety in the Muslim-controlled capital of Poso, have refused to travel from Tentena to meet with him, and instead the minister will travel over the region in a helicopter and see for himself the destruction that the Laskar Jihad has caused. Minister Yudhoyono has proposed a 6-month peace plan involving the deployment of 2 battalions of troops and the deportation of all outsiders brought in to fight. Thanks to the prayers of Christians around the world and the work of Christian advocates in publicising the violence in Sulawesi, many major news networks are now covering this previously ignored conflict.

    For further background on the attacks in Central Sulawesi, please see the links at the end of the November 30, 2001 Indonesia Update.

    Pray:
    • Praise God for protecting Tentena this weekend!
    • Praise God for lifting the banner of the Tentena Christians up to be seen by all the world. Thank him for moving so many Christians to pray for Tentena and take action on behalf of the Christians there. Praise him for moving the hearts of the leaders of Indonesia to protect the Christians of Sulawesi.
    • Pray that God would continue to protect the Christians in Sulawesi. Pray that the truth about the conflict would continue to come out, and that the Laskar Jihad would be completely revealed to the Indonesian people for what it is-- a violent terrorist group that makes up stories about "Christian atrocities" to raise funds and recruit young fighters.

     


    Christians in Indonesia under attack from Jihad warriors

    ::11/30/01
    (Source: Christian Aid, International Christian Concern, Maluku Support Project)

    Please pray for Christians under attack from Jihad warriors in Indonesia. Two weeks ago a western missionary in the Poso district of Central Sulawesi sent out a call for prayer to avert an imminent massacre planed by the Laskar Jihad Islamic militia (see link below). The missionary said that Christians in the town of Tentena were crying out for prayer. Praise God, the Jihad offensive has not yet succeeded in breaking through to Tentena. Yesterday (November 29), however, we received news that Tentena is still in grave danger, with at least one source reporting that Laskar Jihad is planning an assault for today.

    Over the past 3 days we have received several urgent e-mails from Indonesian and western Christians in the Poso district of the Central Sulawesi province of Indonesia (see link to map below). One observer reported that this week the Laskar Jihad warriors have launched an all out offensive against the military and Christian communities in the area, and are fighting their way towards Tentena, a major Christian centre in Poso. Pastors in the District of Poso said that on Wednesday (November 28), bulldozers destroyed 5 villages where Christians fleeing Jihad attacks in remote areas had settled. An Indonesian observer reported that 900 Jihad warriors arrived by boat the same day (Wednesday), probably from the neighbouring province of Maluku, where the infamous massacres in Buru and Ambon took place last year.

    According to Christian observers, there are now more than 60,000 Christians in the Poso district of Central Sulawesi, many of whom are refugees from Jihad militia attacks on their villages in outlying areas. Some western observers report that while Indonesian military presence in the District of Poso has been greatly reduced over the past two months, the Laskar Jihad Islamic militia continues to bring in hundreds of soldiers from other parts of Indonesia. Many Christians in the district of Poso are concerned about rumours that Laskar Jihad is planning a major offensive against them in December, for a 'Bloody Christmas.'

    Write:
    Write to the Indonesian Ambassador in Canada.
    • Deplore the violence in the District of Poso, Central Sulawesi.
    • Express deep concern over the inability of the government troops to prevent illegal militia groups from entering Poso and attacking Christian communities.
    • Call for stronger action on the part of the government to stop religious fighting that has gripped Central Sulawesi in recent months.

    His Excellency Eki Syachrudin
    Indonesian Ambassador to Canada
    55 Parkdale Avenue
    Ottawa, ON K1Y 1E5

    E-mail: kpri@indonesia-ottawa.org
    Salutation: Your Excellency
    Phone: (613) 724-1100
    Fax: (613) 724-1105

    Pray:
    • Pray urgently for the protection of the more than 60,000 Christians now in the District of Poso. Pray especially for those in Tentena. Specific information is difficult to get and hard to verify, but it is clear that the Christians in this area are facing great danger.
    • Pray for the Christians in Poso who have been generously hosting refugees from throughout the region. Pray that God would give them grace and would multiply the provision for the newcomers and residents of Poso.
    • Pray for the relationship between the Christian community and the Muslim residents of Poso. Pray that the Christians would be tremendous witnesses of Christ's love and power.
    • Pray that the government of Indonesia would commit itself wholeheartedly to the defence of the Christian community in Central Sulawesi.

     


    Christians unharmed after attack in Indonesia

    ::11/23/01
    (Source: Jubilee Campaign)

    Praise God for his powerful protection of his people in Indonesia! On November 9th, 400 Christians were gathered in a Protestant church in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. They had come together for a monthly evening of prayer for Maluku state, where Christians have been under intense attack from armed Islamic militants (see Religious Liberty Alert: China, Indonesia, Russia, 12/22/2000, archives). Two members of the militant group Mujahidin Kompak threw bombs and nails (nails are used to inflict serious wounds)through the window. The bombs exploded, but miraculously, no one was harmed and only minor structural damage was sustained.

    The bomb attack may have been aimed at minister Diana Akyuwen. She led her people out of their village last July across a high mountain to safety when their village of Waai was attacked and overrun by Muslim jihad warriors. Another possible target was the Jakarta businessman who for the past year has been organizing the monthly Night of Prayer for Maluku services. He was very close to the bomb that was thrown through the window of the church. Police have detained two men who are suspected of the bombing. No new information has been received about the recent attacks on Christians in Central Sulawesi.

    Pray:
    • Praise God for his powerful protection of these Christians. Praise him for his faithfulness to his people in Indonesia.
    • Pray for the Christians in Sulawesi and other parts of Indonesia who continue to face violent attacks. Pray that God would protect them and that they would be given wisdom to respond in a Christlike manner.
    • Pray for the two men who attacked this church. Pray that God would touch their hearts and cause them to repent and turn to him for forgiveness. Pray for many Sauls among the Islamic militants of Indonesia.

     


    Islamic radicals launch attack against Indonesian district that holds 50,000 Christians

    ::11/13/01
    (Source: EFC Religious Liberty Commission)

    Reports were received this Monday morning that the Laskar Jihad, an radical Islamic militia, has launched an all-out attack against the district of Poso, in Central Sulawesi. The attack, which began on Saturday, places 50,000 Christians at risk. A missionary in Indonesia wrote early Sunday morning:
    "I have just talked with Christian leaders in Tentena and they are crying out for help. They are desperate for food, medicine and protection. They are completely surrounded and request our prayer support. Please bring this to the attention of as many intercessors as possible as these Christians are in imminent danger. If the jihad terrorists break through there will be great massacres. The jihad are well organized and well equipped. This is of utmost urgency and we must pray that the hand of the Lord will stop these disciples of bin Laden from doing their evil deeds."

    Please call on your friends and churches to start praying now to prevent these terrorists and that the Lord will intervene.

     


    Christians Face Both Violence and Sickness

    ::9/17/01
    (Source: Globe & Mail, National Post, Compass Direct, World Evangelical Fellowship, Amnesty International, Middle East Concern, Religion Today)

    As we all watched with horror last week as terrorists attacked in the U.S., we pray for wisdom for world leaders as they respond to this crisis. We encourage you to pray for the following situations of war and persecution which may be affected by the current crisis as well. Violence between Christians and Muslims continues in many parts of Indonesia. In Ambon and Poso, Christians have had their homes and businesses destroyed by Muslim extremists from other parts of Indonesia. Now they are facing an outbreak of malaria, as well. Many Christians are desperate for food and medicine. Some are converting to Islam in an attempt to save their own lives.

    Pray:
    • Pray for an end to the violence in Poso and Ambon, Indonesia. Pray that the people can receive food and medicine. Pray that Christians will stand firm in their faith.

     


    Indonesia: Christians Being attacked, kidnapped and killed

    ::6/15/01
    (Source: Partners International)

    Partners International has received word that a situation is developing in Poso, Indonesia much like it developed in Ambon, Indonesia. Christians are being attacked, kidnapped, and killed. Churches and Christian homes are burned down. Now Christians are sheltered in tents in Poso.

    One year ago, thousands of jihad warriors descended on Ambon, burning churches and Christian homes. Where once there had been harmony between the Muslims and Christians in this part of Indonesia, attacks on Christians destroyed this harmony. Thousands of Christians were left refugees, having lost homes and businesses. The conflict in Indonesia involves more than just religion. There has been great unrest there for many years. The current president is facing impeachment. Government forces are not able to control the conflict and have been known to contribute to it. The government has been unwilling to allow international peacekeepers to assist in controlling the violence. Religion is being used to stir up conflict in many areas. Unemployed Muslim youth are recruited as jihad warriors in some areas to terrorize Christians in other areas. The latest target appears to be Poso.

    Pray:
    • Please pray for God's protection for the Christians in Poso, His strength for His people and spiritual revival among His people.
    • Pray that the Christians do not respond with violence but turn aside the violence with peace and love.
    • Pray that religious leaders, both Muslim and Christian, will work together for peace.

     


    Thousands of Christians Killed While Others Flee

    ::12/22/00
    (Source: Greek Evangelical Fellowship, Christian Solidarity Worldwide; World Evangelical Fellowship; Washington Post; Keston Institute; Newsroom)

    During July and August, the EFC reported on the jihad against Christians in Maluku province of Indonesia. Thousands of Muslim jihad warriors descended on Ambon and other Christian towns in Maluku and killed thousands of Christians. Tens of thousands of Christians fled into the surrounding hills and have been refugees since that time.

    The jihad warriors have continued to threaten Christians. Many have been threatened with death if they do not convert to Islam. After being refugees for months and having seen their homes and churches destroyed, many Christians have given in and converted to Islam. The Indonesian government is weak and seems unable to control the violence that has broken out in many parts of Indonesia. The government has refused international assistance.

    Pray:
    • Please pray for the Christians in Maluku, that God would give them the strength to resist forced conversion.
    • Please pray for a just peace in Maluku, that the Christians may peaceably return home.

     


    Persecution of Christians in Indonesian Province Continues

    ::10/26/00
    (Source: Compass Direct, Religion Today)

    In July we issued two alerts about the jihad against Christians in the Indonesian province of Maluku (also known as the Moluccas or the Spice Islands). Unfortunately, the situation has not improved. Roman Catholic and Protestant leaders from the island of Ambon have called on the United Nations to protect refugees from attacks by Muslim forces. If the UN does not send peacekeepers, Roman Catholic Bishop Tethool has asked for ships to evacuate the thousands of surviving Christians. The Indonesian government has previously rejected offers of international assistance.

    Christians in Ambon were forced from their homes in July when 3,000 jihad warriors invaded the island. While estimates vary as to the number of refugees, they number in the thousands. The refugees are crammed into a small portion of the island, around traditional Christian areas such as Paso and Ambon City. Muslim warriors are attempting to further isolate the refugees by taking over the airport. Christians in Ambon City fear that if the airport is taken, the warriors will turn on them in an attempt to drive all Christians from the island. There have been several attempts at reconciliation in Maluku, most recently from Sept. 26-Oct.5 when the churches observed nine days of fasting and praying. Christian and Muslim leaders called for a meeting of reconciliation but threats of violence prevented this meeting.

    It does not appear that local police or militia can protect the Christians. The Indonesian government is also unable to protect the Christians. There have even been allegations that government military units have participated with jihad warriors against the Christians.

    Pray:
    • Please pray for the safety and protection of the Christian refugees in Ambon.
    • Pray for the United Nations to take action to protect or evacuate the refugees.
    • Pray for the jihad warriors that they would leave the island.
    • Pray for peace between Christians and Muslims in Ambon.
    • Pray for a peaceful resolution to this conflict.

     


    Destruction of Property and Killing of Christians Persists in Indonesia

    ::7/27/00
    (Source: Religion Today, Newsroom, Voice of the Martyrs, Jubilee Campaign)

    Protestant and Catholic leaders have called an International Day of Prayer and Fasting for the Moluccas for Sunday, July 30. The EFC Religious Liberty Commission asks that you join in this day of prayer for our brothers and sisters in the Moluccas who are under siege. Some 455 churches have been destroyed, at least 2,500 Christians killed, and more than 300,000 people have fled from their homes since 3,000 Islamic jihad troops invaded the islands last January (see EFC RLC Alert July 14, 2000). Despite intense international pressure, the Indonesian government has refused international assistance to stem the violence. Christians have reported that government forces have withdrawn when jihad soldiers invade.

    Pray:
    • Pray to change hearts from hatred to love.
    • Pray for peace between Muslims and Christians in this troubled area.

     


    Indonesia: Refugees Lack Humanitarian Assistance and Basic Necessities

    ::7/14/00
    (Source: World Evangelical Fellowship, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Open Doors)

    Two months ago, Muslim jihad warriors began a major military offensive against the Christian population in Maluku, a province of Indonesia. The first wave of 2-3,000 jihad warriors, mostly disaffected Muslim youth, arrived in April and May. Mark Albrecht reports having seen these young people asking for money on the street corners of Yogyakarta back in March. They dressed in white robes and carried signs saying “contribute to the jihad against Christians in Maluku.”

    A second wave of warriors arrived in recent weeks. Some 3,000 well armed and well trained warriors are now attacking and burning villages and churches in Maluku. Large numbers of arms are also being shipped to the area. Christians are desperate. This can be seen from the overcrowding of a ferry several weeks ago that ended in tragedy. The religious fighting has left many refugees, both Christian and Muslim. Many of these are without humanitarian assistance and some lack even fresh water for drinking.

    The situation on the island of Ambon is critical. 18 churches have been destroyed in Poka, Rumah Tiga and Tantui. So many houses have been destroyed that there is now no place for the refugees to go. Government forces have been withdrawn from the area, allowing jihad fighters to destroy everything. Hundreds of demonstrators, both Muslim and Christian, gathered in Jakarta on July 10 to call on the government to stop the bloodshed in Ambon. The government has said that it can no longer control the violence.

    Write:
    • Write to the Indonesian Embassy to:
    • Deplore the violence in the Maluku Islands
    • Express deep concern over the inability of the government troops to prevent thugs from entering Ambon and attacking Christian villages
    • Call for stronger action on the part of the government to stop religious fighting that has gripped the island in recent months.
    • Call for refugees to have access to humanitarian assistance.

    Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
    His Excellency H.E. Budiman Darmosutanto, Ambassador
    55 Parkdale Avenue
    Ottawa, ON K1Y 1E5
    Phone: (613) 724-1100
    Fax: (613) 724-1105
    General inquiry email: kbri@prica.org

    Pray:
    • Pray for the Christians in Ambon, that the Lord will protect them from jihad warriors.
    • Pray for Christians and Muslims in Indonesia that denounce the violence, that they can work together for peace.
    • Pray that there will be peace in Indonesia between Christians and Muslims.
    • Pray for the jihad warriors, that the Lord will open their eyes to the truth of the gospel.
    • Pray for a pause in the fighting so that refugees may have humanitarian assistance.

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