Christians targeted in deadly Indonesian market bombing.

By January 6, 2006

Indonesia (MNN)–Eight died from a December 31 marketplace bomb blast in Palu, Indonesia, says Glenn Penner, with Voice of the Martyrs Canada.

Authorities say two shrapnel bombs were placed in key areas meant to target a specific group of people. “So, it’s well known that the market was a Christian market where Christians would go, they would shop, they would buy, so the bombing was generally acknowledged it was the action of Muslim militants against believers on New Years’ Eve.”

The market in the Mahesa district of South Palu was well known for selling pork and dog meat; favorites among Christians in the area but forbidden for Muslims. Indonesian authorities have widely condemned the attack and there have been a series of arrests.

Penner says even with the threat of terrorism, the indigenous church won’t be cowed. “Christians are continuing to move forward. They’re continuing to try to reach their neighbors for Christ, but they’re running into an awful lot of resistance. I haven’t seen anything that would tell me that they’re being less eager to share the Gospel. I think that they’re just trying to continue on with business as usual…the business of carrying out the work of the kingdom.”

There was some concern that the surrounding communities would respond to Muslim instigation, but so far, Penner says that hasn’t happened. He does urge prayer for the victims’ families, adding, “Pray that those responsible will find the healing grace of Jesus Christ and be drawn into a personal relationship with Him.”

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