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Attack unites Muslims and Christians in rural Indonesia

By September 11, 2015
Pastor Yuda's primary congregation, which meets in the northern region of Kalimantan (the island popularly called Borneo). (Photo, caption courtesy FMI)

Pastor Yuda’s primary congregation, which meets in the northern region of Kalimantan (the island popularly called Borneo).
(Photo, caption courtesy FMI)

Indonesia (MNN) — Muslims and Christians aren’t known for working together. But in rural Indonesia, Muslims and Christians in a small village are going “against the grain.”

Four radical Muslims brutally attacked Pastor Yuda, an indigenous church planter in Borneo supported by Forgotten Missionaries International (FMI).

“Pastor Yuda, even as we speak, was being transported to another hospital where there’s imaging equipment so that they could take some brain scans and see if there’s any bleeding in the brain, bone chips of skull–anything that would need to be removed,” reports FMI’s Bruce Allen.

“The local people [Muslims] are coming together with the church members to try and find out who the person [was] who hit and attacked Pastor Yuda, and bring that person to the police.”

Muslims and Christians: the clash

It’s been said time and time again: not all Muslims are terrorists. While this is most certainly true, there is a small percentage of Muslims in Muslim-majority Indonesia bent toward acts of terror and violence.

In the middle of the night, four radically-aligned Muslims from the Melayu tribe began their attack by hurling large rocks at the church building, trying to destroy it.

When Pastor Yuda awoke and took in the scene, “they started to run,” Allen shares.

“He ran after them, simply to ask what they were doing and why they were doing it…. One turned on him, produced a metal hammer, and began to pound Pastor Yuda’s head with it, causing severe injury.”

(Photo courtesy FMI)

(Photo courtesy FMI)

A neighbor, who was also awakened by the noise, came to Pastor Yuda’s aid and was able to “rush” him to a hospital. But, in rural Borneo, any type of transportation isn’t fast, and it isn’t smooth.

“It’s tough going when you’re trying to ride a motorcycle, ride a van, do anything in that area because it’s all ‘off-road’ type of transportation,” says Allen.

When Pastor Yuda and his neighbor finally arrived at the nearest medical clinic, all the doctors could do was stitch up his wounds and give him pain-killers. In the following days, Pastor Yuda was transported to another island where he could receive brain scans and further treatment.

Though vicious, the attack is having some positive unintended side effects.

Side effects

(Photo credit: IndonesiaTravelingGuide.com)

(Photo credit: IndonesiaTravelingGuide.com)

Pastor Yuda’s village is 98% Muslim, and “the leader of that village, although he’s Muslim, does not want any conflict between Muslims and Christians or the church members in that area,” Allen shares.

Attacks like these also have the potential to pit tribal members against Christians. Fortunately, “many of the people in his congregation are from the very tribe of these attackers,” says Allen.

Typically, Pastor Yuda’s village hums with the quiet activity of farmers belonging to either the Melayu or Dayak tribe. The unusual facts surrounding this attack leads FMI’s leadership team to suspect outsiders.

“The church has been under small attacks in the past–usually from outsiders, usually from a radical Muslim group,” shares Allen.

Journey of healing

This unfortunate incident in rural Borneo has united Muslims and Christians. But, as any survivor of head trauma knows, the journey ahead for Pastor Yuda and his family could be a long one.

(Photo credit: GeneticLiteracyProject.com)

(Photo credit: GeneticLiteracyProject.com)

Depending on the exact extent of Pastor Yuda’s trauma, he could be facing at least several weeks of bed rest and pain medication, with the potential of surgery and recovery-based therapy.

“We’d just really appreciate prayers from the Mission Network News audience for his recovery, and for his family and his church,” says Allen.

“Obviously, any financial support we can give will help; there are immediate medical expenses.”

FMI plans to give an initial gift of at least $1,000 to Pastor Yuda and his family. If you’d like to contribute to his recovery, please click here and select “Support for Overseas Partners” in the drop-down menu.

“They don’t have Obamacare; they don’t have a lot of the things that we would have in place, in terms of traditional insurance and healthcare coverage,” Allen notes.

Prayer Points

  • Please pray for Pastor Yuda’s speedy and full recovery.
  • Pray that all the necessary funds to cover medical expenses will be provided.
  • Pray for the continued cooperation between Muslims and Christians, and pray that this attack will create opportunities for Christians to share the Gospel.

More stories about FMI’s ministry here.

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