Gunmen disrupt a worship service in Indonesia.

By April 13, 2004

Indonesia (MNN)–Police have few clues in their investigation into a shooting in Poso, Indonesia.

Believers are bracing for the worst after gunmen broke into an Easter service and shot seven worshippers. Local media reports say those inside the church fell to the ground when they heard the shots and were protected by the pews.
While the injuries were not serious, they did bring up another concern: violence like this will continue, and possibly escalate.

Reinforcements were flown into the area to prevent further clashes between Christians and Muslims. Fighting in the Poso area first flared in 1999 after a religious war erupted in the nearby Maluku islands, and only subsided in 2001 after more than 2000 deaths and a government-brokered peace deal.

But sporadic fighting has continued and last October gunmen killed 10 people in attacks on mainly Christian villages.

Security officials blame the recent attacks and the deadlier ones on the Al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah regional extremist group.

It appears they are targeting church leaders, evangelists and pastors in their campaign. That makes the work of the Great Commission even more risky. However, the believers have already said they will not be forced underground. Pray for the safety of those involved in ministry in this area.

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