Indonesia’s militants try to stir up trouble amongst Christians.

By November 15, 2005

Indonesia (MNN)–There has been little good news in the brutal beheading case in Indonesia. Voice of the Martyrs Canada’s Glenn Penner says, “Last week, Indonesian officials detained five people, including a former soldier over the beheading last month of three Christian girls.”

On October 29th, three teenage girls in Central Sulawesi were attacked by men dressed in black and wielding machetes as they walked to school.

The girls, Theresia Morangkir, Alfita Poliwo, and Yarni Sambue were all students of a Christian high school. In the attack, all three were beheaded. One other girl walking with them, Noviana Malewa, was severely injured, but survived.

It seemed there was a break in the case with the arrests, however, Penner adds, “On Saturday, we were disappointed to learn that those five individuals were released due to lack of evidence. To this point, we still have no idea if anyone is ever going to be held accountable.”

Penner suspects the actual murders may not have been motivated as much by faith as they were by politics. “For militants, they would like to see this re-ignited, if for no other reason is it creates instability in Indonesia. These militants do not like this present government and this is a way of creating instability in the country again.”

Christians have recently become the targets of militant action. Two more high school girls were attacked November 8th near a Pentacostal church in Poso. 17-year old Ivone (last name unknown) and (Yuli) Siti Nuraini are in critical condition after being shot at point blank range.

Hundreds of troops have been dispatched to secure this high-tension area, but the attacks show the danger from militant Islamic groups hasn’t lessened.

Penner says even with the persecution, it hasn’t stopped evangelistic activity, nor has it stopped the church from steadily growing.

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