Execution of three Indonesia Christians delayed.

By August 16, 2006

Indonesia (MNN)–Large street protests in Central Sulawesi have stayed the planned execution of three Indonesian Christians until next Tuesday.

Voice of the Martyrs’ Todd Nettleton says the case stemmed from sectarian violence convictions eight years ago.

Fabianus Tibo, Marinus Rewu and Dominggus da Silva were supposed to die early Saturday, Aug. 12, for allegedly being part of the violence against Muslims during the religious conflict between 1998 and 2003.

However, the negative publicity has played a large role in seeing the sentence carried out. Nettleton says, the stay doesn’t really change anything. “The police are saying they postponed it because they were too busy getting ready for Independence Day, not because a judge had stepped in and overruled the conviction or really any lasting legal victory.”

Their reasons may be much simpler, Nettleton explains. “They simply apparently wanted the publicity to go away, and they hope by putting it off, they could make that happen.”

Nettleton says evangelism remains a question because: “This is a place where Christians are being made to feel very unwelcome and Muslims are feeling threatened as they see the growth of the church and they’re striking back against that.”

Their work continues to support evangelists in the region, “So, the challenge for Christian ministry obviously, is to reach people for Christ in a very hostile environment.”

This could be another attempt at creating the illusion of a secular government in Indonesia. Nettleton says three Muslims convicted for the Bali bombings have been executed, so it might be a nod to both communities in an effort toward equal treatment.

That only means more prayer is needed to support those involved in outreach. VOM vows to continue their efforts to nurture the existing church in Indonesia.

If you want to help, go to Voice of the Martyrs’ website by following the link below.

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