|Painful "presents" for Indonesian Christians|
Subject: [Fwd: IN: Painful Christmas Presents] Dear brothers Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu! I do not know the background to these extremely disturbing events but, in view of our own persecution, I think it only just that we should give appropriate publicity to this satanic work and offer our sympathy and, if possible, assistance by joining the voices of condemnation. There can never be any justification for the destruction of places of worship. Maybe Ahmadis could and should be in the forefront of defenders of freedom of worship not only on our own behalf. Wasalaam Rafiq Mahmood Jakarta ===== BLACK CHRISTMAS Christmas Presents for Indonesian Christians Still in the Christmas season, on December 26, 1996, several churches in Tasikmalaya, West Java, Indonesia have been burned down. It has not been long since Black Thursday incident in Situbondo, East Java on October 10, where 25 churches were burned down or vandalized and 5 people were burned to dead inside one of the churches. Reuters and other media have also reported this incident. The rioting was apparently caused by the police beating of a Moslem school teacher and his two students. Yet it surely had nothing to do with the churches. Confirmed report from church sources tells that there are 11 churches burned down or vandalized, including: Burned down: 1. Catholic Church, Sutrisna Senjaya St. 2. GKI (Christian Church of Indonesia), Veteran St. 3. GPdI (Pentecostal Church in Indonesia), Penyerutan St. 4. GBI (Bethel Church of Indonesia), Citapen St. Damaged heavily: 1. GGP (Pentecostal Movement Church), Wirataningrat St. 2. Kerasulan Baru Church, Tentama Palaya St. 3. GKIm (Immanuel Christian Church), Manyar Utaryo St. Damaged lightly: 1. Yesus Sejati Church 2. Pasundan Christian Church, Silakaso St. 3. GBT (Bethel Tabernacle Church), Veteran St. Other casualties include: 2 Christian schools, 4 banks, shops, department store, police office, cars and 3 people (2 were burned inside their shops). This incident has added the total number of church attacks in Indonesia by fanatic Moslems to over 300 in the past five years. Actually the problem is not between Moslem and Christian an sich, for there are Moslems opposing such human rights violations. Fanatism mixed with political interests have contributed to these barbaric actions. It seems that to them, everything can be a reason to attack churches. Another report has just also arrived,telling about persecution against a pastor in Sukoharjo, Central Java. D. Mendrofa, pastor of GPdI (Pentecostal Church in Indonesia) Grogol, was brutally beaten by fanatic Moslems on December 18, 1996. The incident took place in the mid of fellowship meeting in the pastor's house when 50 youths came and demanded that the meeting be stopped. They also said that Christians are not allowed to have religious meeting in the houses, and that no Christian should live in the village. The Christians refused to stop their meeting so the youths beat the pastor. The pastor fell down unconsciously and was hospitalized. Two painful Christmas presents. Yet there may be unreported ones. More information on church persecution in Indonesia, including photographs, could be seen at http://www.fica.org/ by following the "persecution" link.
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