Friday, May 18, 2012
Indonesia Under Attack Again
Harsh Era Looms in Aceh, Indonesia. Yet, prayer is the most powerful force on earth.
This village on Sumatra lays in ruin after the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that struck South East Asia on 12-26-2004. Some 230,000 people were killed in 14 countries with waves 30 meters high. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Philip A. McDaniel.
Election of hard-line Islamic governor followed by closure of 17 churches.
By Victor Ambarita
JAKARTA, Indonesia, May 16 (Compass Direct News) – The election of a hard-line Islamic governor in Indonesia’s Aceh Province last month appears to have opened the way for a crack-down on the minority Christian community, which saw 17 churches sealed shut in early May.
Emboldened by the April 9 election of Zaini Abdullah of the militant Aceh Party (Partai Aceh, or PA), hundreds of Islamists demonstrated in front of the office of Aceh Singkil regency on April 30, demanding area church buildings be not only sealed but demolished.
Christian leaders told Compass that, besides the usual pretext of lack of church permits – applications for which local authorities routinely deny or delay – the demands were based on a controversial agreement that Christians were reportedly forced to sign in 2001 stipulating that there be only one church and four chapels in the regency.
The number of churches in the regency had grown to 22, and the Diakonia Secretary of the Indonesian Fellowship of Churches, Jeirry Simampow, said that the demonstrators were upset with the Interfaith Harmony Forum for allowing the growth of churches in the area. Of the 17 churches closed, 11 belong to the Protestant Christian Church of Pakpak Dairi, or GKPPD.
The Rev. Elson Lingga, GKPPD district superintendent, told Compass that the mob clamored for the demolition of the church buildings, and that on May 2 a new acting regent had agreed to the demand.
“This position was supported by the police chief, who said that the time for dialog was past – all he wanted was a schedule of the church demolitions,” Lingga said. “It’s not that Christians do not want to apply for permits, but it is extremely difficult to secure permission even though we have put forth our maximal efforts.”
See article at www.compassdirect.org
Indonesian Christians are under attack again. The world is at war there, in our nation, and on every continent. Evil threatens to overrun Good. See it in the daily news. Too many Christians worldwide are comfortably asleep who do not stand against evil or pray, while others sacrifice their lives.
Danger seems to draw ever closer. Indeed, the enemy is at the door, within the walls, wrecking havoc. Yet, prayer is the most powerful force on earth. How can we so underestimate the power of God?
If we believed, we'd pray.
World in Christ