A gruesome murder hits a seminary in Indonesia.

By May 3, 2004

Indonesia (MNN)–Christians are alarmed at the Muslim show of force in Indonesia’s Maluku province.

Last week, the tensions boiled over, culminating in rioting, which left 30 dead, along with a grisly murder of a seminary director and student. Fires were also set to hundreds of homes and a Christian Univeristy.

The region is home to a disbanded Islamist militia, re-formed and vowing to rid the area of Christians. The incident involving the seminary director underscores the hostility against those training for evangelistic outreach.

On April 25th, Septer Sanabuky, director of Evangelical Theological Seminary of Indonesia, and a seminary student, Berti Manopo, were riding a motorcycle to a ministry outreach when a mob blocked their way and attacked them.

The two men were tortured, beheaded and their bodies burned. Their remains were later recovered for burial. Christians and Muslims living near the border between the divided communities have fled their homes, with some taking shelter respectively in a church and a mosque. The United Nations has also evacuated staff from the area.

While the government insists the unrest is related to seperatist rebels and the upcoming elections, believers are not so sure.

There are fears that the region could plunge back into a Muslim-Christian war that killed 9000 people three years ago. Pray for those involved in outreach. Ministries in the area will continue their work, however, much more discretely.

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