Displaying items by tag: Indonesia
We prayed recently for the capture of terrorists in Indonesiawho killed four Christians. See ‘When you meet the unbelievers, strike the necks’ (Qur’an 47:4). Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation, has long wrestled with extremist militancy and terror attacks, while Central Sulawesi has seen intermittent violence between Christians and Muslims for decades. After President Suharto’s fall in 1998, Indonesian Muslims who had travelled to join the fight against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s returned to Indonesia and formed various militant groups and launched multiple terrorist attacks. IS has capitalised on Indonesia’s Islamist networks to boost its recruitment efforts and carry out attacks in the country. IS propaganda is singling out Indonesian Muslims for recruitment.
On 11 May four Christian farmers from the remote village of Kalimago, Poso regency, were murdered by five sword-wielding attackers. The terrorists ambushed a group of farmers who were harvesting their coffee plantation. The victims were aged between 42 and 61. A fellow-farmer saw the suspects carrying firearms and sharp weapons approach the victims before he fled and informed the police, who later said the witness identified one attacker as a fugitive and a member of the IS-linked Eastern Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT) terrorist group. The attack was motivated by robbery and to terrorise local residents. One of the victims was decapitated in this particularly brutal attack. In November, the same Sulawesi-based terrorist group burned down a Salvation Army church and Christian homes, and hacked four Christians to death and beheaded one. The authorities have not been able to capture the fugitives despite months of efforts.
Father Tulak was preaching at a Catholic cathedral in Indonesia when it was attacked by suicide bombers on Palm Sunday. He said God protected church members and guards, who were only two metres away from the bombers when they exploded. ‘What happened in my church is a personal testimony for the world.’ Indonesia is one the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nations. Christians in the area are unfortunately used to these types of attacks, especially during Christian celebrations. Please pray for the injured church guards, who are in a police hospital for protection.
Indonesia has banned schools from forcing girls to wear Islamic hijab headscarves after the case of a Christian pupil pressured to cover up sparked outrage in the world’s most populous Muslim nation (90% of the population follows Islam). The move was applauded by rights activists, who say non-Muslim girls have been forced for years to wear a hijab in conservative parts of the country. State schools across the archipelago of nearly 270 million people will face sanctions if they fail to comply with the edict. Nadiem Makarim, the education minister, said that religious attire was an individual choice and schools cannot make it compulsory.
The earthquake that hit Sulawesi on Friday 15 January destroyed many Christian homes and church buildings. Survivors are in urgent need of humanitarian aid. Desperate Indonesian pastors are pleading with Barnabas Fund for suitable tents, blankets, food and baby milk for their homeless church members. The government’s emergency response and aid for the survivors is inadequate and will end altogether on 8th February. The makeshift camps are in the middle of the rainy season - humid days punctuated by intense downpours. Pray for all the hungry, homeless survivors sheltering in crude camps. May they know the peace of the Lord and hope for the future. Pray for the desperate Indonesian pastors to have the resources and support needed to look after their homeless church members.
Many earthquakes hit Indonesia: The most recent, of 6.2 magnitude, struck Sulawesi island early on 15 January, killing at least 46, destroying houses, flattening a hospital, setting off landslides, and injuring hundreds. Then the next day Mount Semeru, the highest volcano on Indonesia’s most densely populated island of Java, spewed hot clouds up to three miles away. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency warned people living in the villages on the slopes of the 12,060-foot mountain to be vigilant in looking for danger signs. People around the river basin on the slopes of the mountain should beware of high rainfall intensity that can trigger lava floods. Semeru’s alert status had been at the third-highest level since it began erupting in May. In December it sent hot ash 9,800 feet, triggering panic among villagers.
A 26-year-old Boeing 737 left Jakarta with 62 people on board, but vanished four minutes later. There is no hope of finding any survivors. Search teams have found aircraft parts and human remains. It is believed the plane broke apart when it hit water. Please pray for the devastated friends and relatives of the deceased. Sriwijaya Air, founded in 2003, is a local budget airline which flies to Indonesian and other south-east Asian destinations. The plane went missing about 20km north of the capital Jakarta, not far from where another flight crashed in October 2018.
A little child - a long walk - a rocky road - no shoes - twice a day - five times a week. This is life for thousands of Indonesian Christian children because their parents cannot afford shoes. The more fortunate children have jepit (meaning pinch sandals because they must be gripped by toes). Not easy walking over rough ground, and not healthy for young growing feet. Christians asked Barnabas to provide proper school shoes for them. A local Christian shoe company is providing shoes at a 67% discount. This Christmas the children, who walk every day for miles in bare feet, will receive a gift of school shoes thanks to many generous donations.
On 27 November, around 7:30 am, Nei was having breakfast with her husband, Yasa, and saw about ten unknown people visiting Naka, at a nearby house. Soon after that terrorists Ali Kalora and Jaka Ramadan entered the house and took Yasa and Nei outside. Yasa was tied up, stabbed in the back, then decapitated with a machete. One of the terrorists, near Yasa’s house, gave a signal to villagers to flee, allowing several witnesses and children to escape. Naka and his son Pedi were set on fire, as was their house and eight other homes. Terrorists also torched the Salvation Army house of worship. Another Christian, Pinu, was stabbed to death. Approximately 750 people fled their homes after the attack. Police suspect militants with allegiance to IS carried out the violence, as the leader of the outlawed group was seen at the scene of the crime.
Louisiana and Mississippi were hit by two hurricanes and two tropical storms already this year; before recovering they are being hit again, by Hurricane Zeta, which is intensifying into a stronger-category storm as it moves north. Pray for five million residents preparing for the eye of the storm and the repair of damaged voting sites with the election days away. Across Indonesia high tides caused by the La Nina phenomenon in the Pacific has caused dozens of landslides and widespread flooding across most of 17,000 islands where millions of people live who are also bracing for further monsoon floods. Pray for emergency workers and residents, already battling the new coronavirus. May God assist them in responding to crises. A landslide at a coal mine on Sumatra killed 11 miners. After heavy rainfall over Vietnam a landslide killed 14 at an army barracks, burying many more. Typhoon Molave has now made landfall in Vietnam.