Muslim extremists torch church in Indonesia

By October 14, 2015
(Photo courtesy Open Doors USA)

(Photo courtesy Open Doors USA)

Indonesia (ODM/MNN) — Muslim extremists in Aceh province made good on a threat against Christians on Tuesday, 13 October.

Open Doors USA President and CEO David Curry explains, “The Indonesian Christian Church (HKI) was burned down. Their pastor and the congregation have been greatly affected by this. We’re asking people to know what’s happening in Indonesia to support persecuted Christians there, to be praying for this church.”

Curry adds that the arson follows a vicious social media campaign. “Muslim extremists have been spreading a viral message about ‘here’s what’s happening in churches’ and sort of stirring up dissension.”

In addition to the risks posed by social media, there’s what’s being preached by the imams in some of the more radical areas, says Curry. There were concerns about what the imams were preaching in the Aceh Singkil regency. ”The most dangerous time in the week for Christians is that Friday afternoon after the mosque has let out and these extremists who are preaching messages of hate towards Christians, Jews, and others come out riled up.”

That’s also been proven true in several Muslim-dominated areas as of late–like Palestine, which led to the stabbings of three Israelis recently. Curry says, in this case, the call to arms went viral in Indonesia. “With all of the technology available, there’s more opportunity for people to stir up dissension, and (now) you have this incident in Indonesia, where this church was burned down.“

(Photo courtesy Open Doors)

(Photo courtesy Open Doors)

Before the HKI arson, Pastor Erde, whose church was also torched last month, witnessed hundreds of extremists parading to the police and legislative offices to demand the closure of all churches in the regency. “Every church member is guarding their own church right now. Please pray that there won’t be any more church demolitions today,” said the pastor. There are about 10 churches in Aceh Singkil. Curry adds, ”There’s a lot of political pressure on police to overlook these incidents. It’s a largely Muslim culture.”

The situation Christians find themselves in is diverse. There is the president and his public statements concerning religious minorities. There are also radical Islamic groups who continue to act violently when it comes to minorities, especially Christians. Will there be justice? “We’re hoping that the police take firm actions to stop this violence, and also for Christians to respond with love and wisdom. So it’s really a balance of things that we’re looking for in this situation in Indonesia.”

(Photo courtesy Open Doors)

(Photo courtesy Open Doors)

Curry says the overall message is simple. “Christianity is opposed in Indonesia. It is a very difficult place to work, but we need to be praying, we need to be going, we need to be interacting with and loving Muslims in that culture. I think we keep pressing forward, but we know what we’re dealing with.”

Aceh, the only province enforcing Islamic Sharia law in the country, is among the most hostile places for Indonesian Christians to live. Indonesia ranks #47 on the the Open Doors 2015 World Watch List ( of the worst persecutors of Christians.

Pray for churches in the Aceh Singkil regency, Aceh province, Indonesia, following the burning down of an Indonesian Christian Church (HKI) Tuesday. Pray especially for a change in the extremists’ hearts.


  • This is totally wrong unacceptable..I’m a muslim and our beloved prophet Muhammad Pbuh don’t teach this kind of act and behaviour.If Saidina Umar or Saidina Ali still lives today,im sure he will punished severely these extremist people.

  • Pat says:

    How encouraging and comforting to hear this support from Field Marshall Amd, a man of authority and influence. I thank him on behalf of my fellow Christ followers and I pray God’s blessing on him and his family.

  • Marla says:

    Let them rage on, we abide in the Father’s love.God is still on the throne and He reigns. Father, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven, I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen

  • We are praying for these dear brothers and sisters, for confort, grace and wisdom, and for perseverance in these difficult days. May the first letter of Peter encourage you.

  • We wish you dear brothers and sisters, the Lord’s blessings, that He will will give you all the strenght and courage .We remember you Pastor and the people you serve in all our prayers!

  • Prasad E D says:

    Respected Field Marshal Amd, My Salam to you. I do not find people like you. If people like you were in Syria, Turkey, Afganistan, Pakistan, and other countries, people would have not been killed, taken ransom, women killed and raped, You yourself can read in the Newspaper and in the TV. May God bless you and people like you can show Heaven on this earth.

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