Church burning in Indonesia

These assaults took place in the summer of 2000. They are still relevant today, for they give us a glimpse into the ongoing battle raging against Christians in Muslim countries. Since we haven't heard anything from the sender since he sent the last letter below, he may have been killed.

A courageous Indonesian brother in Christ has sent us information about the horrendous persecution of Christians in his country. For his safety, we must withhold his name. He says, "Many church burned together with their congregation (people inside). Christian witnesses who went there couldn't describe it because too many had been killed." 

This picture shows one of the torched churches and its victims. Please join us in prayer for these brothers and sisters in Christ.  I know God wants His people to stand together in this battle. 

To see a larger version, click on the picture.

For background information, read:  20 Die in Latest Fighting: Indonesia's Wahid ponders international help to end religious strife


All his letters in chronological order: 

7-19-2000. I hope you will pray for ministries in Indonesia because now many Christian here have been tortured, killed and many church has been burned (approximately more than 800 church burned in two years, from 1998 to 2000). Some people said it is a record in church history) especially in East Indonesia like Ambon and Poso.

7-25. Latest news told that Jihad and TNI (Indonesian National Troops) will kill all Ambon Christian and who want to live must out from Moluca before 31 July 2000. They already move to all city and destroy school, church and Christian house, until this time they not yet stopped. 

90 % of Christian Ambo already run to mountain because their village already been burned and demolished. According to the Christian in Jakarta Indonesian president Gusdur could not stopped this because this movement involved many general of Indonesian army.

The last bargain for Gus Dur is if he wants peace in Maluku, he has to resign from his position as a president. Now there is 15000 Christians wait in Halong port for the ship to go out from Maluku. They are starving and many got sicked because there is no help from the government.

The weather in Moluca's sea is terrible, we have to pray for them so they can go out safely. We still hope and pray UN troops can go to Moluca and stopped this ethnic cleansing before too late.

May our Lord be with them and give strength to them.


7-25:  Together with this letter I attach report from Ambon Moluca about persecution to Christian people there that I just received today. The Christian already call for UN troops to enter there but still not allowed please pray for them. Visit this site, please:

News from Ambon, Maluku. One is from Catholic bishop and crisis center officers.  If possible please forward this to your government (officer). They might  urge Indonesian government to stop the killing or report it to UN. One click of yours may save hundred of lives. Thank you,  Marsel.

Dear Friends: Just minutes ago, a communication from Ambon cried out for help from anybody and the international community. Genocide is imminent: 

1. Police quarters are under attack. Their weapons were ransacked,  plundered, and confiscated. The police no longer have anything to defend themselves, not to mention to defend the people under savage  attack. The  police security forces need weapons.

 2. The so-called "Komando Jihad" co-ordinated and led the attacks.  No more euphemism! Need pressure on the Indonesian government to take strong and swift measures; or if incapable, the Indonesian government should let United Nations and the International civilized communities to interfere.

3. Christian populations are now concentrated in several points, easy targets for attacks. Need protection for their lives. Time is not on their side.

4. Need evacuation force. Perhaps the Indonesian Marines.

At the time of this writing, the reliable local person who manages to call on the phone is watching clouds of fire rising up to the sky, crying for help from humanity. Louder than the cry of Abel's blood. Please do whatever you can. Call Clinton, Gore, Bush, K. Annan, or whomever may have the power to stop this carnage! And please cry out to God with this URGENT APPEAL from victimized Christians in the Moluccas!

The unrest in the Moluccas, which has been going on for nearly one and half year now and has claimed the lives of thousands of civilians and the destruction of thousands of houses and other facilities, originally started as a conflict between certain Muslim and Christian groups. 

However since the arriving of thousands of Jihad ("Holy War") troops, equipped with standard and organic weaponry, it can no longer be looked upon as a conflict. It has now become a straightaway endeavor to cleanse the Moluccas from all what is Christian. Part of the security forces apparently sympathizes with these Jihad Troops. Those who do not, are outnumbered and - fearing for their lives - in many cases choose to withdraw as soon as the attacks start.

The most recent evidence of this change in the Moluccas unrest (from conflict to slaughtering) is illustrated by the following sad happenings:

In the North Moluccas:  The Christian village of DUMA / Galela on the island of Halmahera, was attacked by at least 5000 Muslim fighters, killing 176 residents and injuring 137, including women, children and old people.

Ten women and twenty children are reported to be abducted. The protestant church (together with all people who had taking refuge there) and 292 houses were burned down. The military security forces, Yonif 512/Brawijaya, reportedly withdrew before the attack was launched, except some of them who paved the way for attacking Jihad Troops to carry out their holocaust. This sad happening, like other to follow, was hardly reported in the national news media and broadcasting.

In Ambon: On June 12th 2000 several thousands of Muslim fighters came down Malintang hill and attacked the villages of Galala and Hative Kecil at the outskirts of Ambon town. About thirty houses and Catholic church were burned down. The attackers met hardly any resistance. On that occasion the local security forces were reported to have conflict among themselves. Six person were killed including two Brimob Policemen, 16 were injured. 

On June 21 st 2000 the village of Tantui, situated between Hative kecil and Ambon town, location of Brimob Police Headquarter, was attacked. Once again the Christians were more or less left to themselves. The result: the catholic church and the Protestant Efrata church were burned down together with some dozens of houses and Brimob quarters. Among the five casualties was the Brimob vice-commander, Mayor Pol. Eddy Susanto. The number of casualties was restricted because the local residents could flee in time.

What to expect in the near future: Apparently the Muslim forces not just want to dominate the Moluccas, but they don't want any Christian presence in the Moluccas. In the North Moluccas they have already succeeded in cleansing most islands from all what Christian: the islands of Ternate, Tidore, Morotai, Obi, Bacan, Sula are 100% Muslim now. Only the relative small islands of Mangole and Talibu are still untouched: Muslims and Christians there live in peace together.

The island of Ambon is more and more being surrounded by the Jihad Troop, who is this way will prevent any Christians to escape from the great scale slaughter they have in mind and is apt to be launched any moment now.

Conclusion: What is happening now cannot possibly be called any more "riots: either "violence" or "bloody conflict "or even "war". Since there is no reason at all for the latest assault of the Muslim troops on the Christian civilians, it can only be called ORGANIZED COLD-BLOODED MURDERING OF INNOCENT PEOPLE, conceded by the Muslim themselves by means of the loudspeakers on their mosques who call for annihilating those "Christian infidels".

The security forces, which overwhelmingly consist of Muslim troops, have to choose to be loyal either to their military oath or their religious conviction. Beside, they are being confronted now with strongly motivated Jihad fighters with equal weaponry. These factors make them more and more choosing the side of the Muslim attackers, letting them do their destructive activities, in many cases even supporting them by shooting at the same target i.e. the Christians.

The Christians are trying to defend themselves to their last drop of blood, but are outnumbered and do not have adequate weapons. They are ready to die, but not without the world to know what has been done to them. The Indonesia Government - though undoubtedly wishing this mass murdering to end - has not the military forces that able to put a halt to this "Holy Murdering".

The Christians address a (possibly last) urgent appeal on the outside world, especially the United Nations. Security Council and Human Rights Commission, to come and bring about peace in the Moluccas. 

Rev. Agus Ulahaiyanan, Msgr. Yos Tethool MSC, Pr and Rev. Ancis Homenara Pr,  

Chairman Crisis Center Chairman Justice & Peace Commission

Ambon, June 22, 2000

7-26-2000: Here I received pictures from tortured in Moluca. 

This is several pictures that I choose for you, actually many pictures is terrible and need censored because is too bad. Christian people in Ambon need help and support please pray for them. God bless you...  (I am still praying about posting the rest of the pictures.) 

12-24-2000: Syaloom, 

Hi I want to say Merry Christmas and Happy new year to you and to all of the congregation in your church. I hope this will be a wonderful Christmas to all of you.

Today I also went to church for celebrate Christmas eve. But now churches all over Indonesia has been attack by bomb threat. We think this is the biggest bomb threat in Christian church history. The bombs exploded in all big city in Indonesia and the location all is near the church, some also destroying the church itself. My church also had been threat by phone from somebody who said that the boom will exploded at 23.00. Me and my friends together with the military(boom squad) stand by until 24.00. Until I left nothing happen, at 24.00 (25 December 2000) I asked my friends to pray together for this situation.

Somebody wants a chaos in Indonesia because of ethnic and religious war. Many church already been attack in one day(24 Dec 2000). In Jakarta including Cathedral, Canisius, St. Yoseph, etc. Many died and injured some of them is church member who just finished from Christmas service (misa). Please pray for situation in Indonesia so there is a peace here, because there is a rumour that another attack will follow tomorrow and the next day. There is also plan to attack the mosque because at 27 Dec 2000 the Moslem will celebrate Idul Fitri. Thank you for your attention...    God bless you brother ...

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