Pastor in Indonesia killed during service

By July 20, 2004

Indonesia (MNN) — Christians around the world are being asked to pray for ministry that's going on in the largest Muslim nation of Indonesia. Violence has again hit the island of Central Sulawesi. Witnesses report that four men on motorcycles, wearing black masks, arrived at the front door of a church and opened fire with machine guns. The attack killed the pastor and a worship team member. Three others were wounded.

This act of terrorism is a concern to missionaries. A New Tribes Mission missionary in Indonesia says, "This kind of violence usually takes place in the city locations where there is a lot of tensions between religious groups… They have to be a little more careful in terms of where they are and what they're involved in. Most of our people are in cities less prone to this kind of violence, and that's by design. We've tried to choose locations and places that have seemed to be more secure."

New Tribes continues working in the region with church planting and discipleship ministry. Our source reports: "We have lots of Indonesian co-workers and people we're discipling as church planters. And, we are trusting the Lord to do tremendous things through them in the future. We are investing heavily in discipleship and training of those who can carry the torch in the event that something would change about the situation in Indonesia."

And that situation may not be that far off: "It is increasingly more difficult as we see a rise in Islamic fundamentalism in Indonesia. It's foreseeable that in the future it will become more and more of an issue in elections, just simply by the fact that popular vote will perhaps allow for a rise or an increase in the influence of these fundamentalists."

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